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Obama Disconnects Rhetoric, Reality - Yahoo! News

Obama Disconnects Rhetoric, Reality - Yahoo! News

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Published by Noel Sheppard

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Published by: Noel Sheppard on Oct 10, 2011
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SPIN METER: Obama disconnects rhetoric, reality
By ERICA WERNER - Associated Press | AP – 4 hrs ago
 WASHINGTON (AP) — InPresident Barack Obama's sales pitch for his jobs bill, there are two versions of reality: The one in his speeches and the one actually unfolding in Washington. When Obama accusesRepublicansof standing in the way of his nearly $450 billion plan, he ignores the factthat his own party has struggled to unite behind the proposal. When the president says Republicans haven't explained what they oppose in the plan, he skips over the factthat Republicans who control the House actually have done that in detail. And when he calls onCongressto "pass this bill now," he slides past the point that Democrats control theSenate and were never prepared to move immediately, given other priorities. Senators are expected to voteTuesday on opening debate on the bill, a month after the president unveiled it with a call for its immediatepassage.To be sure, Obama is not the only one engaging in rhetorical excesses. But he is the president, and as such,his constant remarks on the bill draw the most attention and scrutiny.The disconnect between what Obama says about his jobs bill and what stands as the political reality flow fromhis broader aim: to rally the public behind his cause and get Congress to act, or, if not, to pin blame onRepublicans.He is waging a campaign, one in which nuance and context and competing responses don't always fit in if they don't help make the case.For example, when Obama says his jobs plan is made up of ideas that have historically had bipartisansupport, he stops the point there. Not mentioned is that Republicans have never embraced the tax increasesthat he is proposing to cover the cost of his plan.Likewise, from city to city, Obama is demanding that Congress act (he means Republicans) while it has beenclear for weeks that the GOP will not support all of his bill, to say the least. Individual elements of it may wellpass, such as Obama's proposal to extend and expand a payroll tax cut. But Republicans strongly oppose thepresident's proposed new spending and his plan to raise taxes on millionaires to pay for the package.The fight over the legislative proposal has become something much bigger: a critical test of the president'spowers of persuading the public heading into the 2012 presidential campaign, and of Republicans' ability todeny him a win and reap victory for themselves."He knows it's not going to pass. He's betting that voters won't pick up on it, or even if they do they will blameCongress and he can run against the 'do-nothing Congress,'" said Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a senior fellow at the
SPIN METER: Obama disconnects rhetoric, reality - Yahoo! News http://news.yahoo.com/spin-meter-obama-disconnects-rhetoric-rea...1 of 2 10/10/2011 9:28 AM

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