I had an important phone call with the Democratic National Committee of which I'm a member late this week, urging them to get President Obama to request a 30 minute prime-time slot on all the major networks to present the details of the economic stimulus bill to the country and to appeal for voter support for the bill. I explained that even a Google search on the topic returns few details about the specifics of the bill, and instead some opponents of the bill, including in the senate and on right wing talk radio and conservative blogs are only defining the bill by presenting a few of the proposals that they oppose.
In the last couple of days, the president has done a better job presenting the dangers to the American economy if the bill is not passed. But he needs to do far more than this. He needs to present a viable case to the public how this bill will actually improve the economy or provide three million claimed jobs, because so far the details are very sketchy.
And a positive sign is that at least moderate Republicans made some objections heard to portions of the bill, and added some provisions that they thought were better and more targeted, and now are likely to vote for the bill.
But the overwhelming fact is that few American really know what provisions and spending proposals are in this bill, and the Obama White House needs to do a better job selling this bill and educating the public what actual goals are contained in the bill.
The Obama Campaign for president was a near flawless operation, and finely run. But so far the first 100 days at this White House have been a little bit bumpy, despite the fact that this president is a very serious and hardworking man who has not even found the time check out any of the perks of Camp David. The same care that went into running his campaign needs to exist to get the economic stimulus bill passed if the stakes are really as high as President Obama claims.
My conversation with the Democratic National Committee was serious. And my comments were seriously taken, where they promised some consideration and action on them.
I played a role getting this president elected because I wanted to see the economy rebound. I certainly hope to see some action where the White House starts to present it's most important proposals with the same seriousness as the campaign to win the office in the first place.
Mr. Obama cannot allow his opponents to define his policies for him. He needs to defend and sell his policies if he intends to make a successful public impression. So far his actions on important legislation for children's health care such as S-Chip have been excellent. However, a success or failure to sell his economic stimulus bill and message, as well as whether the specific proposals will actually work or not will go much farther in defining this presidency.
The success or failure of Mr. Obama to address the serious economic crisis will play a pivotal role in his presidency and help to define whether he becomes a success as president like a Franklin Roosevelt, or a failed presidency like a Jimmy Carter.
Mr. Obama needs to quickly grab onto the grips of his power to present himself as the FDR of this new generation, using some of the great communication skills of a Ronald Reagan to make his case.
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