Thursday, October 28, 2010

Obama: Collins Held Line at $700 Billion

President Obama:

And I'll give you one last example because I know this is a famous example in the blogosphere, is the stimulus. I mean, if folks think that we could have gotten Ben Nelson, Arlen Specter and Susan Collins to vote for additional stimulus beyond the $700 billion that we got, then I would just suggest you weren't in the meetings.

This notion that somehow I could have gone and made the case around the country for a far bigger stimulus because of the magnitude of the crisis...
I end the quote with an ellipsis, because he never does finish the thought. But the implication is that it would have made no difference for a president with a 70% approval rating and facing an almost unprecedented economic crisis to put in a day or two lobbying the constituents of a senator--one who had just won reelection as a post-partisan, results-oriented moderate--in a state where he was incredibly popular.

And let's remember what he would have been there to lobby for: Not support. Just support for an up or down vote on the spending package he was arguing was necessary to stave off depression.

Would this approach have worked? I don't know. (I don't believe the President knows either.)

What is clear is that it was politically inept to pretend that an insufficient bill was just fine and dandy.

As much as he seems to want to shift the blame to Sen. Collins and others, the President alone is responsible for that mistake.

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