More dispiriting news, this time about the White House overturning the EPA’s proposed new rules on smog. That comes a few hours after the jobs report from Friday morning, one of the bleakest yet. And it comes a few days in advance of what everyone expects will be a small-thinking, modest, blah jobs speech by the president. It’s not only getting to the point where it’s getting hard to see him winning reelection. It’s getting to the point where it’s hard to imagine people taking him seriously for the remaining 14 months of his current term.
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The smog decision is a real low. The story behind this includes the fact that, as Brad Plumer reports environmental groups were going to file a lawsuit in 2009 about Bush-era ozone rules, and the Obama administration told them, in effect, “Wait, don’t hassle us with a lawsuit, we’re going to propose stricter rules soon.” So the stricter rules were proposed, and the White House has now said, “Sorry, changed our mind.”
I keep thinking back lately to that candidate and team I watched in 2008. The candidate really had his finger on something. The team almost never made a serious mistake. When a mistake did happen, they did a respectable job of digging their way out of it. They had some fight in them. Well, I’ve learned something new from these folks: Up until now, I’ve thought that running a strong presidential campaign is a sign that one can probably govern fairly well too. But there appears to be little correlation between the two.
What candidate and team was he watching?
Obama made lots of mistakes, many of them serious. There were serious strategic errors, like taking his name off the ballot in Michigan. There were serious gaffes, like his “bitter-cling” statement. There were serious flip-flops like on FISA and campaign finance. There were serious lies, like when he told people in Ohio he wanted to renegotiate NAFTA while Austen Ghoulsbee was telling the Canadians he didn’t mean it.
Back then the media ignored his mistakes or even helped cover them up. But they can’t protect him like that anymore because the presidency is a big stage with nowhere to hide.
Next time someone says we should vote for the candidate that is the media darling, give that person a dope-slap.
BTW – Tomasky is/was a journolista.