Monday, February 15, 2010

Obama the enigma

Barack Obama has been president for over a year and people still seem to have no idea who he is or what motivates him. According to Politico, for example, some House Democrats suspect that Obama wants them to lose in 2010 so as to improve his chances for re-election in 2012:

One Democratic official … (said) some Democratic House members actually believe that the White House “wouldn’t mind having a foil, and that foil is a Republican (House) majority — that would serve their political purposes going into 2012.”

These House Democrats say privately that veterans of Bill Clinton’s administration working in Obama’s White House may think having a Republican majority in Congress will help Obama win re-election, as it did Clinton in 1996. House Democrats know that Obama will do whatever it takes to win re-election, whether or not it helps members keep their seats this year.

This makes some sense in that it, at least, provides an explanation for why Pres. Obama continues this year to push an extreme and unpopular agenda. If Republicans retake Congress or, at least, part of it this year, Obama could blame all of his problems on them when he runs in 2012. Contrast that theory, though, with Peggy Noonan's observations:

There is, I think, an amazing political fact right now that is hiding in plain sight and is rich with implications. It was there in President Obama's Jan. 25, pre-State of the Union interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer, who was pressing him about his political predicaments. "I'd rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president," he said. "And I—and I believe that."

Now this is the sort of thing presidents say, and often believe they believe, but at the end of the day they all want two terms. Except that Mr. Obama shows every sign of meaning it, and if he does, it explains a lot about his recent decisions and actions.

So, is he pursuing his unpopular agenda because he wants a second term, as some House Democrats suspect, or because he does not want one, as Peggy Noonan suggests?

Hat tip: Hot Air

PREVIOUSLY on Obama's unpopular agenda:
An encounter with the Ideologue-in-Chief
Democrats' stealth plan to resuscitate Obamacare
Those who want to go done with the ship: Obamacare Dead-enders
Obamacare may raise insurance costs by 54%
Harvard's Dean of Medicine opposes Obamacare
How good is Canadan health care?
Rahm Emanuel explains that they are not even trying have Obamacare make sense
Harvard economist explains why Obamacare will raise premiums
HHS says Obamacare will cause costs to go up and cause employers to drop coverage
To protest Obamacare, San Francisco holds a sick-in
Polls say majority of voters oppose Obamacare
Obama wants to kill your mother!
VP Biden offers medical advice
"The Post Office, with scalpels"
Dems oppose affordable medicine
Socialized medicine in Japan: Baby dies after 8 hospitals refuse to admit mother
The Canadian health care collapse
Canadian official: "the system is imploding"
Canadian MP flies to US for treatment

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