With everything seemingly collapsing around President Barack Obama, John Feehery, president of lobbying group Quinn Gillespie Communications, has put together a list of the president’s top seven mistakes. Feehery, who worked for the House Republican leadership for 15 years, wrote his assessment in The Hill
. Here’s the list.
1. Failed to veto the initial stimulus package. Obama could have achieved success on this if he had forced Democrats in Congress to work with Republicans and eliminated unproductive spending projects. Leading a bipartisan effort would have enabled Obama to present himself as a leader of the country rather than of his party.
2. Let Nancy Pelosi move cap-and-trade first. The former speaker made Democrats put a lot of energy into a bill that wasn’t going anywhere. Forcing vulnerable Democrats to back it only made them more vulnerable. And when Obama needed their votes on healthcare, he couldn’t get them.
3. Called the cop stupid. Obama unwisely took sides in the conflict between his friend, Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, who is black, and a Cambridge, Mass. police officer, who is white. Obama said the officer acted “stupidly” and thereby “forever alienated white ethnic voters.”
4. Failed to bring the Olympics home to Chicago. By personally appearing before the International Olympic Committee, Obama raised the stakes for himself and the country in seeking the 2016 Olympics. But the move backfired, with Brazil winning the games.
5. Signed an extension of President Bush’s tax cuts. Despite his constant criticism of George W. Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy, Obama ended up approving a two-year continuation of them. That showed he would back down in the crunch. It also helped expand the budget deficit.
6. Signed Obamacare. He alienated Republicans and put congressional Democrats in a difficult position. Voter opposition to the law helped spark the Republican blowout victories in last year’s elections.
7. Brought David Plouffe in-house. Obama’s 2008 campaign manager is now a senior adviser in the White House. “It is clear that Plouffe, a hard-nosed partisan, is in charge, and not the more pragmatic chief of staff, Bill Daley, because the president has taken a hard turn to the left to energize his despondent base.” The partisanship won’t serve Obama well.
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