Hack "Democratic" pollsters tell Barack to move to the center and be more like Paul Ryan
Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen, two ostensibly “Democratic” pollsters whose recent career seems to consist almost entirely of appearances on Fox News and Op-Ed pieces in the Wall Street Journal, furrow their brow at some recent polls and offer a dire warning to President Obama in today’s Journal: Pivot to the center, or perish! Why can’t he be more like Paul Ryan?
More than anyone else in this race, Paul Ryan has spoken of the need for fiscal discipline and economic growth — two themes that have been largely absent from the Obama-Biden campaign — which explains a large part of the Ryan-inspired Romney bump.
For his part, President Obama needs to change direction — immediately and decisively. His campaign strategy has been to divide the country on the basis of class, demonize the wealthy, call for higher taxes and unceasingly attack Mr. Romney.
Putting aside the question of whether there has really been a “Ryan-inspired Romney bump,” the admonition is likely to fall on deaf ears. Outside of Karl Rove and Paul Ryan himself, it’s hard to imagine two people that President Obama would be less inclined to take advice from than Caddell and Schoen. Last November, they recommended that Obama step down and allow Hillary Clinton to take his place as the Democratic nominee for president. Strangely, Obama passed on that suggestion. And judging by the forceful defenses of Obamacare on the first day of the Democratic National Convention, Democrats have decided that they are going to emphasize the values that make them, well, Democrats.
And well they should. The notion that there is any “center” to pivot to is ludicrous. For decades, the Republican Party has been moving further and further to the right. The country is now more polarized that it has ever been, a fact that Obama was forced to reckon with, again and again, during his first term.
Caddell and Schoen appear to have forgotten that during the debt-ceiling negotiations, Obama put an offer on the table including concessions on social welfare spending that made his own party extremely anxious and upset. What could be more centrist than a mix of revenue increases and spending cuts as a path toward a more balanced budget? But that deal was torpedoed by none other than … Paul Ryan. President Obama learned a valuable lesson. When the opposition party won’t compromise at all, what’s the point of being conciliatory?
TalkingPointsMemo reported an illuminating comment by Barney Frank from the convention floor yesterday that provides some good context for the discussion of whether Obama should be trying to reach across the aisle:
“Unfortunately, from the very beginning — look, look at the contrast. George Bush came to us on the Democratic side in late ’08 and said, we’re in a crisis, we need your help — and we gave it to him, very openly, very fully. Then Obama comes in to try to deal with the terrible situation he inherited from Bush and the republican media went into full partisan attack. [Senate Republican Leader] Mitch McConnell announcing his number one goal was to defeat the president.
If Caddell and Schoen were honest, they’d be forced to acknowledge that Obama already occupies the center. Republicans have moved so far to the right that to go any further toward them would require not simply stepping down in favor of Hillary, but changing his own party registration.
More Related Stories
- Is the Environmental Defense Fund ruining environmentalism?
- Top 5 investigative videos of the week: "Winning" Afghanistan
- Jester clowns Westboro Baptist Church
- GOP: Party of crybabies
- Developers evict historic women's shelter to build luxury hotel
- Guantánamo prisoner on hunger strike cries for help on Twitter
- 3 possible solutions to international tax avoidance
- “I just want the U.S. to send my father home”
- Army weapons engineer tied to white nationalist organizations
- Ted Cruz against the world
- David Vitter's hypocritical, punitive, horrible new amendment
- Louie Gohmert: Women should be forced to carry nonviable pregnancies to term
- Could hackers destroy the U.S. power grid?
- Democrats may be even worse than Republicans at regulating Wall Street
- Eric Holder versus journalism
- A progressive defense of drones
- There's no substitute for government disaster relief
- Holder signed off on search warrant for reporter
- Mississippi could begin prosecuting women for miscarriages
- Mike Judge: "Bowling for Columbine" made me pro-gun
- Closing Gitmo is not enough
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11