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The Reviews Are In, And They’re Not Good

RNC Communications - August 9, 2011

The reviews out after the President’s speech yesterday are considerably rough as the Dow fell 600 points and Obama clearly failed to reassure the markets or present a plan to turn the economy around. What Team Obama is surely watching even closer than the markets is his political future headed into 2012 and judging by these headlines – “Obama’s Jobs-Message Problem” and “The Ever-Present President (And Why It’s Not Working)” – they have to be worried.

Rough Reviews For Obama

National Journal: “Obama’s Jobs-Message Problem”. "Markets were unmoved. Stocks fell before the midday speech, and they kept right on falling afterward. No one should have been surprised. Obama needs a sharper, weightier economic message – and perhaps, many of his ideological allies suggest, a revamped policy plan as well."

Washington Post: “The Ever-Present President (And Why It’s Not Working)”. “There’s no single reason that explains the current inverse relationship between Obama’s high public profile and his declining poll numbers. But he does appear to be suffering from the constant struggle between showing people he is engaged in turning the economy around and the reality that the financial recovery of the country is a slow process devoid of any big or good news in recent days. In other words: How can Obama show the American people that he is working tirelessly to re-start the economy without appearing as though he is feckless at doing just that?”

Washington Post’s Dana Milbank: “The Most Powerful Man In The World Seems Strangely Powerless, And Irresolute, As Larger Forces Bring Down The Country And His Presidency”. “When he began his speech (and as cable news channels displayed for viewers), the Dow Jones industrials stood at 11,035. As he talked, the average fell below 11,000 for the first time in nine months, en route to a 635-point drop for the day, the worst since the 2008 crash. It’s not exactly fair to blame Obama for the rout: Almost certainly, the markets ignored him. And that’s the problem: The most powerful man in the world seems strangely powerless, and irresolute, as larger forces bring down the country and his presidency.”

The Washington Post: “Fell Flat”. “Obama’s attempt to reassure the public that the United States “always will be a triple-A country” fell flat, at least with the markets. When Obama started speaking, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down about 410 points. By the time he finished it had dropped further, and it ended the day down 635 points, the largest single-day drop since 2008.”

Politico: “It Failed Spectacularly”. “If Obama’s announcement was intended to soothe panicky markets, it failed spectacularly. Before he spoke, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was trading down about 400 points, 3.5 percent of its value. By the end of the day it had tanked, finishing with a 633-point loss that represented about 6 percent of its value, the worst single-day performance since the depths of the fiscal crisis.”

USA Today: “Did Nothing To Calm Jittery Financial Markets”. “Obama's decision to address the issue from the White House after spending the weekend at Camp David did nothing to calm jittery financial markets. The Dow Jones industrial average continued to slide, closing down more than 600 points on the day.”

Los Angeles Times: “You Kept Waiting For The Point”. “But if you read the full statement, as anyone could right here on The Ticket, you kept waiting for the point, the real rhetorical reason for the remarks. Like a grand restaurant with the most romantic atmosphere, crackling fireplace, flickering candles, exquisite place settings. And with impressive style the waiter proudly serves an empty plate -- and awaits your awe. Trouble is, real leadership is more than talking and calling for things. It takes a while, but over time listeners begin to notice rote rhetoric, predictable patterns, empty words.”

Washington Times: “Did Nothing To Console Markets”. “In a panicky day of tumultuous trading on Wall Street, even a pledge by President Obama to double down on efforts this fall to come up with a major debt reduction plan that would satisfy ratings agencies did nothing to console markets.”


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