Peter Baker quotes Robert Gibbs, Obama’s press secretary, in his description of Obama’s take on the state of politics and the stimulus bill:
Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, decried what he called a “myopic viewpoint in Washington,” disconnected from the troubles of the country.
“It’s illuminating because it may not necessarily be where cable television is on all of this,” Mr. Gibbs said. “But you know, we’re sort of used to that. We lost on cable television virtually every day last year. So you know, there’s a conventional wisdom to what’s going on in America via Washington and there’s the reality of what’s happening in America.” [my emphasis]
John Dickerson of Slate makes a similar case:
Remember back in the Democratic primary, when the consensus was that Obama was too soft, too deliberative, and too nice to win the election? These current gripes remind me of those days. It takes time to govern.
Overall, this reinforces my post of last week about why I am (still) confident about Obama in which I wrote that:
This seems to have been Obama’s strategy – to allow his campaign to take hits and play defense, sticking to an overall strategy that would gain him a final decisive victory rather than exhausting his staff fighting every daily flair-up.
Obama is once again playing the “long game” on this stimulus fight. I wonder how many times Obama will be able to do this – lose the daily fight while winning the broader point – before the media figures out his game. Clearly some of the more astute observers have.