Obama fails to Galvanize the Youth on Daily Show

President Obama came on Jon Stewart’s Daily show on Wednesday.

This was the president’s chance to rally the youth, who typically don’t vote in midterms. Obama defended his legislative record in wonky terms. But he did not have good comebacks to Stewart’s critiques from the left.

Obama’s hair should have been on fire. He should have pointed out all the horrible things the tea party plans to do to young people. He had a chance to mobilize them around youth issues.

Instead he played it safe. I didn’t take away a single talking point that seemed to me likely to galvanize people like the students I teach.

When Bill Clinton went wonky you could still sense his passion. I got no sense of urgency or passion. I am sure he feels it. But now that he isn’t running for office himself, he just doesn’t seem able to put it on display.

A wasted opportunity. At least he will be there to veto the crazy tea party legislative agenda.

Here is pt. one:

The Daily Show With Jon
Stewart
Mon – Thurs 11p /
10c
Barack
Obama Pt. 1
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full
Episodes
Political
Humor
Rally
to Restore
Sanity

28 Responses

  1. Look, this is a guy who picked picked Summers and Geitner to head up his economic team. And to devise his economic program. This is a guy who kept Gates on. Thereby proving if you stay around Washington DC long enough, despite a fairly bad track record, and you are a White Guy in a suit, who graduated from a decent college, and perhaps, repeat, perhaps, served in the military, the media will come to like you.

    This is a guy who picked McChrystal’s plan over Eikenberry’s suggestions. This is a guy who continues to spend over a 100 billion a year in a rat hole. (metaphorically speaking). To say nothing of blood. This is a guy who wanted, and wants, to look ‘forward’ away from the possible crimes and violations of the past. This is a guy who wanted to close down Gitmo. This is a guy who opposes allowing gays to legally marry.

    This is a guy who failed to appoint anyone at or above the level of Undersecretary at State or Defense, or at the NSA, or NSC, who was on record opposing the Iraq War. True, many people appointed CAME to oppose it. After it went bad.

    This is a guy who failed to appoint one person, I repeat, one person, to economic team that was on record opposing the repeal of the Glass Steagall Act. This is a guy who failed to appoint one person at the DOJ who had ever talked favorably, never mind been on record, as CONSIDERING conducting any investigation in the ‘excesses’ of the past Admin.

    And so on and so on and so on. And this is the man you expect, to the extent you do expect it, to “galvanize”? This man’s job, and he is very good at this, I believe, is not to add a protective additive to steel. This is a man who is good at adding a soft, dream-like, and child like, seductive pleasantness, and pseudo-idealism to the oligarchy America has become.

  2. What’s astounding about Obama and other progressives is how they show loyalty to the monetary system coupled with the Federal Reserve system that’s destroying the economy. Most Americans know that the Wall Street crisis was a fraud, although the mainstream media have succeeeded in keeping them in the dark about why it was a fraud. Although Obama and Geithner say the TARP funds have been paid back, that’s less than half the story. Still hidden to mainstream news is the effect the Fed has had in feeding funds to big banks through quantitative easing and through buying their impaired mortgages. Such activities are the Fed’s way of protecting big banks’ bondholders: instead of helping the economy the Fed crowds out the private savings that provide capital to job-creating entrepreneurs. But Obama, Geithner and Bernanke, following the line of Bush and Paulson, say it’s all being done in order to help the economy. It’s clear that Geithner’s loyalty lies with big banks’ bondholders, but whether Obama grasps what’s going on is unknown.

  3. Your assuming he will veto their legislation. What if he is as conservative as he appears?
    What if he signs some of their legislative proposals, such as privatizing Social Security; why else did he create a deficit commission and stack the deck with deficit hawks that want to gut Social Security?

  4. I agree that the President failed again last night. His excuses, and that’s what they sounded like, were hollow if not dishonest. Why do we have the 60-vote rule? Because Democrats failed to change the rules in 4 years of running the Senate, and because the Democrats failed to actually force the Republicans to filibuster instead of just folding at every idle threat.

    IMHO, Obama wants to lose this election so he will have cover for his next tasks: destroying Social Security, extending the phony war on terror, engineering another giveaway to the energy corporations disguised as energy policy, and moving America even further toward a low-wage economy. We would be better off with the Congress full of tea-party crazies so that Obama would be forced to veto their crackpot legislation. What we will get is another 2 years of stagnation blamed on the Republicans.

  5. Dr. Cole ~
    I believe you may have summarized his presidency thus far, and unless he wakes up, this will be the legacy on four short years: “Instead he played it safe…”

    Facing two wars, the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression, Mr. Obama has simply played it safe. This was an opportunity for BOLD leadership. Voters overwhelmingly demanded CHANGE and HOPE in 2008. This is Obama’s disconnect and the reason for the tremendous disillusionment on the left.

    We were ready for BOLD action and change. We didn’t want simply to “play it safe.”

  6. At least he cheerleaded his legislative victory for the Insurance companies.. God Help Us.

  7. He’ll be there to veto the crazy tea-party agenda — if he bothers. More likely, he’ll “compromise” away yet more of the social safety net.

  8. I think that one thing most often overlooked about Obama is the fact that he never has been by nature a rabble rousing populist, but rather a judge. He started his presidential bid during the last bubble and in my mind was positioning himself as the person who could bring the country together. After the economic crash he found himself in a situation totally unexpected by himself and his staff. I believe he is still trying to find his feet and slowly discovering the cruelty of his new position.

    FDR in comparison had three years prior to his presidency of severe economic times to develop his approach.

    For these reasons and the inherent racism of our country and the determination of the Repos to destroy him, I doubt his longevity of office. I hope it isn’t so, but I’m not holding my breath.

  9. At least he will be there to veto the crazy tea party legislative agenda.

    Going wildly optimistic on us, Dr. Cole? :-) He hasn’t directly vetoed anything yet that I can recall. Personally, I wouldn’t count on the above one bit, though I hope you’re right.

  10. I am continually disappointed by President Obama. Where I find people I know continually expressing worries about the economy even when they do not have to be personally worried, I find the President either does not understand the worry or cannot speak to the worry or cares little beyond getting a few votes. Also, Obama has just turned away from many, many people who worked hard for his election because those people have criticisms now.

  11. am about 100 pages into The Mendacity of Hope: Barack Obama and the Betrayal of American Liberalism by Roger D. Hodge ( former Editor In Chief of Harper’s Magazine ). wonder how it turns out.

  12. Dear Professor Cole

    I am surprised that noone has pointed out the Reverend Dodgson’s investigation and description of the Tea Party.

    It is more generally known as the Mad Hatters Tea Party.

    link to ci.springfield.or.us

    What a curious species Americans seem to be.

  13. Yep, just more cheap talk and the young folks have seen/heard enough. They are moving home after school because there are no jobs for them. Hopy changy thing has died.

  14. Obama played it safe, and so did Stewart. He must have been afraid to mention: the failure of single payer health care, consistent state secrets filings, a Wall Street economic team, allowing assassinations, and so forth.

  15. Why is the President of the United States on a comedy show? Why is he going on Mythbusters? Why was he on the View?

    This pres has had one (maybe two) Prime Time Press Conferences in the last 18 months.

    Instead of acting like an entertainer, a celebrity, he should be acting like a president.

  16. “A wasted opportunity. At least he will be there to veto the crazy tea party legislative agenda.” -J. Cole

    I wouldn’t be too sure about that. He seems like he wants the crazies to win so he can throw up his hands and say, “I can’t do anything about it” and go along with them couching his capitulation in “bipartisanship.”

    What I find amazing is President Obama touts accomplishments that don’t have any effect on people without jobs. A lot of good financial “reform” does if you don’t have a credit card!

    President Obama couldn’t be more disappointing. I predict a disastrous next couple and maybe several years for the working class in this country.

  17. “(Obama) should have pointed out all the horrible things the tea party plans to do to young people”

    What you suggest Prof. is actually one of the basic problems. The Republicans (and Tea Party) create fear of terrorism, immigrants, hispanics, muslims, etc, while the Democrats create fear of the Repubs and Tea Party. What we need is not “counter fear” but bold leadership, in which Obama has failed miserably.

    Moreover, Tea Party is a direct manifestation of the failure of the left and of the Democratic Party. Many of the issues capitalized upon by the Tea Party (sans the above list) like dissatisfaction with the Congress and the Government for helping the rich and the corporations rather than ordinary citizens should typically be a leftist agenda.

    Obama and the Democrats are part of the problem and not the solution. “We vote? What does it mean? It means that we choose between two bodies of real, though not avowed, autocrats. We chose between Tweedledum and Tweedledee…”. If you think this is Ralf Nader then you’d be wrong. This is Helen Keller in 1911 (source Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the US). It’s amazing how much things have changed and yet how little has changed.

  18. Regrettably President Obama never saw himself as the leader of the Democratic Party. perhaps doing so would have besmirched his self-image as bi-partisan, perhaps because in his mind the 2008 election really was all about him. Consequently he never worked to shape the Congressional agenda, never used the political levers available to encourage party discipline, never asserted leverage with Republicans, etc. Indeed he has spent much of his political capital protecting Republican leaders and policies while rebuking his own supporters.

    Either the Republicans will simply trample Barack Obama to the point where he is completely ineffectual, or the President will make common cause with them in the name of bi-partisan fantasy. I would not be surprised to hear him announce in fall, 2011, that he will not be a candidate for re-election, too late for anyone except Hillary Clinton to make a bid for the Democratic nomination. Should the Republicans gain the Presidency in 2012 I would not be surprised to see Barack Obama nominated for the next opening on the Supreme Court as he has proven he is a reliable defender of Republican interests.

  19. Obama, while a very large disapointment, and maybe a complete phoney, has, for some reason made some steps through the EPA, the gasoline efficiency rules, and funding green tech research and installations.

    Also, in some cases, scientists are not being stifled.

    It’s not close to enough, and he gets F for abandoning any effort for meaningful legislation to prevent runaway climate change, but the ignoramuses of the republican party are ardent in their support of oil and coal, and would shut any such efforts, and the small steps made under Obama.

    I have no idea what the solution is, although the combined effort in California to defeat the oil barons, might show a way.

  20. I see my point has been covered above, so let me put it this way: a veto would be considered soo…oooo partisan!

Comments are closed.