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 DC bigs think obummer will be elected the public does not

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UncleFrank
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PostSubject: DC bigs think obummer will be elected the public does not   Tue Nov 16, 2010 5:23 pm

POLITICO
This difference in expectations could mislead the president if he is listening to the Beltway chatter — right here in D.C., he may just find a lot of comfort in this assessment by insiders, and that may lead to actions that don’t fully adjust for the sea change that has occurred among the general public. (See also Poll: D.C. Sees Midterms Differently)

This big difference can partially be explained by the different ways that the two groups see the economy and the world today. Seventy percent of D.C. elites admit that they have been affected less than the average citizen when it comes to the economic downturn. The elites see the tea party as purely a fad (70 percent). In contrast, those who say that the president will not be reelected see the country as headed in the wrong direction by 82 percent, see the economy as headed in the wrong direction by 81 percent and overwhelmingly want repeal of the health care law at the top of the agenda. The quarter of the public who consider Obama's reelection probable see the economy turning around by nearly 3-to-1. They are the outliers of the electorate, suggesting that the president has a lot more work to do to get back on track for a second term.
In 1994, President Bill Clinton heard the message loud and clear — he was facing both houses in the hands of the Republican Party, so he moved aggressively to the center and remade his White House and his policies. But not every president is willing to take that kind of aggressive action to change course.

The discontent of the electorate has been pretty clear since Scott Brown of Massachusetts filled the late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s seat with an upset Republican victory. The administration depicted that as an isolated event based on a supposedly weak Democratic campaign and candidate. And so all the way up to the midterms, the president made few policy or personnel changes.

It should be clear now that the public believes it sent a very clear message to the president that it wants new policies — particularly when it comes to government spending and health care. The public wants him to move back to the center and focus on the economy.

D.C. elites can, of course, sometimes be right over the public. But in this case the administration has the electoral carnage of the midterms as proof that the public is fully prepared to vote in more Republicans unless it sees more changes than it saw in the months since Brown was elected. There will be a tempting comfort to the president to stay the course; the poll results show that staying the course may be quite perilous.
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