What They Are Saying … About Obama's "Inept" Leadership On The Debt Ceiling | Republican Party (United States) | United States Government

August 2, 2011

What They Are Saying …
Obama’s “Inept” Leadership On Debt Ceiling Debate Has Left His Party And Presidency In A “Diminished State”
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OBAMA’S LACK OF LEADERSHIP ON DEBT DEBATE “ONE OF THE LOWER POINTS OF HIS PRESIDENCY”
The New York Times: “The president can no longer make the argument that he has changed the way Washington works - Mr. Obama's Washington, in fact, has looked even worse than previous eras …”(Jeff Zeleny,
“After Protracted Fight, Both Sides Emerge Bruised,” The New York Times, 7/31/11)

NYT: “The president, with his re-election on the horizon, emerges from the showdown in a diminished state after giving considerable ground and struggling to rise above a deep partisan intransigence that has engulfed Washington.” (Jeff Zeleny, “After Protracted Fight, Both Sides Emerge Bruised,” The New York
Times, 7/31/11)

NYT: “The drawn-out debt debate may well be recorded as one of the lower points of his presidency.”
(Jeff Zeleny, “After Protracted Fight, Both Sides Emerge Bruised,” The New York Times, 7/31/11)

The Washington Post: “[I]n his eleventh-hour stare-down with the tea-party-infused Republicans and a possible government default on the line, Obama blinked.” (Peter Wallsten & David Nakamura, “Did Obama Capitulate — Or Is This A
Cagey Move?” The Washington Post, 7/31/11)

WaPo: “Indeed, for much of the battle over the debt ceiling, Obama seemed to be, alternately, a bystander and a broker. And in the early assessments of the results, it appears that Republicans got the better of the bargain.” (Karen Tumulty & Perry Bacon Jr., “What The Debt-Ceiling Battle Means For 2012” The Washington Post, 8/2/11)

The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd: “You have to wonder if President Obama at some level doesn’t want to lead. Maybe he just wants to be loved.” (Maureen Dowd, “Tempest in a Tea Party,” The New York Times, 7/30/11)
 

Dowd: “[Democratic lawmakers] fret that Obama is an inept negotiator.” (Maureen Dowd, “Tempest in a Tea
Party,” The New York Times, 7/30/11)

Dowd: “The laconic president emerges from the sidelines periodically to warn about economic default, but we’re already in political default.” (Maureen Dowd, “Tempest In A Tea Party,” The New York Times, 7/30/11) Dowd: “As one Democratic senator complained: ‘The president veers between talking like a peevish professor and a scolding parent.’ (Not to mention a jilted lover.) Another moaned: ‘We are watching him turn into Jimmy Carter right before our eyes.’” (Maureen Dowd, “Tempest In A Tea Party,” The New York Times, 7/30/11)
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Politico: “[F]or the second time this year, the president has had to yield ground on domestic appropriations, and the result is a real change in the direction and ambitions of government.” (David Rogers, “We Have A Deal,” Politico,
7/31/11)

National Journal: “The months-long melodrama leaves President Obama weakened politically and potentially constrained as a president.” (George Condon Jr, “Obama Hurt By Debt Debate,” National Journal, 7/31/11)

NJ: “[T]here's little good news for him and his party in what's immediately known about the framework of the compromise.” (George Condon Jr, “Obama Hurt By Debt Debate,” National Journal, 7/31/11) NJ: “[R]ight now it's hard to see many victories the president can show to his party in this deal. He didn't get the ‘clean’ increase he once demanded. He didn't get the ‘balance’ (revenue increases) he demanded, though he insisted that taxes remain very much a part of the second phase of the bargain.” (George Condon Jr, “Obama Hurt By Debt Debate,” National Journal, 7/31/11) NJ: “[T]he bad news for Obama is that this deal – and his role in the deal-making – could make it more difficult for him to win a second term.” (George Condon Jr, “Obama Hurt By Debt Debate,” National Journal, 7/31/11) NJ: “[T]here is no sign that Independents approve of the president’s handling of the debt issue.”
(George Condon Jr, “Obama Hurt By Debt Debate,” National Journal, 7/31/11)

USA Today: “In the debate over raising the government's debt ceiling, President Obama has seen his approval rating fall to a new low, his political adeptness questioned and his liberal base enraged over compromises he made on line-in-the-sand issues such as protecting Medicare from cuts.” (Susan Page & Fredreka
Schouten, “Political Damage Even If A Debt Deal Is Done,” USA Today, 7/31/11)

The New York Times’ Ross Douthat: “Ever since the midterms, the White House’s tactics have consistently maximized President Obama’s short-term advantage while diminishing his overall authority. Call it the ‘too clever by half’ presidency: the administration’s maneuvering keeps working out as planned, but Obama’s position keeps eroding.” (Ross Douthat, “The Diminished President,” The New York Times, 7/31/11) The New Republic’s Jonathan Cohn: “This Is Not Leadership” (Jonathan Cohn, The New Republic, 8/1/11)
 

Cohn: “[T]his time, I think, it's impossible not to second-guess his decisions.” (Jonathan Cohn, “This Is Not
Leadership,” The New Republic, 8/1/11)

Cohn: “Imagine if the president had, from the very beginning, laid out a few key principles and stuck to them: No tying the debt ceiling to deficit reduction; no attacks on Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security; no deficit reduction without higher taxes on the rich.” (Jonathan Cohn, “This Is Not Leadership,” The New
Republic, 8/1/11)

Bloomberg: “[O]bama’s Strategic Positioning Contributed To The Missed Opportunity For A Potentially Historic Bipartisan Deal …” (Margaret Talev and Mike Dorning, “Obama’s Deficit Bargain Lost Out To 2012 Politics With Shifting Priorities,”
Bloomberg, 8/1/11)

Bloomberg: “Obama came months late to the negotiations, allowed 2012 election concerns to shape his timing and willingness to advocate Social Security and Medicare reductions, and undermined his position by shifting his priorities, they said.” (Margaret Talev and Mike Dorning, “Obama’s Deficit Bargain Lost Out To 2012
Politics With Shifting Priorities,” Bloomberg, 8/1/11)

Bloomberg: “As [David] Gergen sees it, Obama made an early error when he failed to adopt the findings of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.” (Margaret Talev and Mike Dorning,
“Obama’s Deficit Bargain Lost Out To 2012 Politics With Shifting Priorities,” Bloomberg, 8/1/11)

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Bloomberg: “In April, the president proposed a $4 trillion, 12-year deficit-cutting plan, with $3 in cuts for every $1 in tax increases. Social Security benefit adjustments were not part of that plan. From that point on, Obama’s position began shifting.” (Margaret Talev and Mike Dorning, “Obama’s Deficit Bargain Lost Out
To 2012 Politics With Shifting Priorities,” Bloomberg, 8/1/11)

Former Clinton Advisor William Galston: “If your objective is to be a president who achieves transformational change, then I’m not sure waiting from December to mid-April is wise.” (Margaret Talev and Mike
Dorning, “Obama’s Deficit Bargain Lost Out To 2012 Politics With Shifting Priorities,” Bloomberg, 8/1/11)

Galston: “In the end, Obama ‘was forced into defense early on and it’s not clear to me he was ever able to regain the offensive.’” (Margaret Talev and Mike Dorning, “Obama’s Deficit Bargain Lost Out To 2012 Politics With Shifting
Priorities,” Bloomberg, 8/1/11)

Galston: “His presidency is in jeopardy, and I hope there are people around him who are willing to tell him that frankly.” (Karen Tumulty & Perry Bacon Jr., “What The Debt-Ceiling Battle Means For 2012” The Washington Post, 8/2/11)

Senior Democratic Aide: “The President Got Rolled.” “One senior Senate Democratic aide said that averting a default was a victory of sorts for Obama, ‘but when you look at the emerging details, spending cuts and triggers with no revenue, the president got rolled.’” (Peter Wallsten and David Nauamura, “Did Obama Capitulate – Or Is
This A Cagey Move?,” The Washington Post, 7/31/11)

Los Angeles Times: “The initial details of the bipartisan deal leaking out indicate that in return for driving his own job approval rating down to its lowest point ever, President Obama Didn't get much out of the professed compromise.” (Andrew Malcolm, “More Bad News For Obama As Debt Deal Brings Smiles To Capitol Hill,” Los Angeles Times’ “Top Of The
Ticket,” 8/1/11)

Politico: “However, it's hard to say the president won exactly: He went from a 'clean' debt ceiling increase to spending cuts, infuriated his base, ensured massive cuts to domestic programs (though not as much as Republicans would have liked), and didn't find new revenue -- at least not yet.” (Jonathan Allen, Politico’s The Huddle,
8/1/11)

MEANWHILE REPUBLICANS HAVE SUCCESSFULLY REINED IN SPENDING IN VICTORY FOR AMERICAN PEOPLE
The New York Times: “The White House And The Senate May Be Controlled By Democrats, But The Debate Unfolded Squarely On Republican Turf.” (Jeff Zeleny, “After Protracted Fight, Both Sides Emerge Bruised,” The New York Times, 7/31/11) The Wall Street Journal: “The big picture is that the deal is a victory for the cause of smaller government, arguably the biggest since welfare reform in 1996.” (Editorial, “A Tea Party Triumph,” The Wall Street Journal, 7/31/11)

WSJ: “If the cuts hold, this would go some way to erasing the fiscal damage from the Obama-Nancy Pelosi stimulus. This is no small achievement considering that Republicans control neither the Senate nor the White House, and it underscores how much the GOP victory in November has reshaped the U.S. fiscal debate.” (Editorial, “A Tea Party Triumph,” The Wall Street Journal, 7/31/11)

The Associated Press: “Yet by most accounts, Boehner and his Republicans have already won on policy, forcing a national conversation about debt and pushing Obama to focus on historic spending cuts and drop demands for new taxes.” (Erica Werner, “Fight Over Debt Tests Leadership Of Obama, Boehner,” The Associated Press, 7/30/11) Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “All that said, the bill that’s poised to arrive at the Oval Office looks a heckuva lot more like what the House GOP demanded than the clean bill Obama first requested, or the ‘balanced [read: tax-laden] approach’ he later championed.” (Kyle Wingfield, “Debt-Ceiling Deal: An Incremental But Indisputable Win For The
GOP,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 7/31/11)

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Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO): "‘If I were a Republican, this is a night to party.” (Glenn Thrush and Carrie Budoff Brown,
“Debt Deal Complicates Liberals’ Support,” Politico, 8/1/11)

Time: “Still, Democrats argue that Republicans got almost everything they wanted in the end.” (Jay Netwon-Small,
“With Debt Deal Reached, Can Congress Swallow Its Own Bitter Medicine?,” Time’s “Swampland,” 8/1/11)

Roll Call: “With time running out to reach an agreement to raise the debt ceiling before Tuesday’s default deadline, Obama moved dramatically in the direction of the GOP, according to Senators and aides in both parties.” (Steven Dennis, “Debt Deal Emerging With Rightward Tilt,” Roll Call, 8/1/11)

Roll Call: “As details trickled out Sunday, the deal framework appeared to give Republicans most of what they were seeking ...” (Steven Dennis, “Debt Deal Emerging With Rightward Tilt,” Roll Call, 8/1/11)

The Washington Post: “[A]s far as the bigger picture goes, the advantage goes to the Republicans, who will have for the first time transformed a routine vote to raise the federal borrowing limit into an opportunity to deliver on their pledge to reduce the size of government.” (Felicia Sonmez, “Debt Deal Presents Small Wins For Democrats, Big
Victory For GOP – And Large Gamble For Obama,” The Washington Post’s “2Chambers,” 7/31/11)

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