Monday, January 25, 2010

Winning in November is about JOBS.

I have been out here on the street, talking to people, co-workers, neighbors, etc.; since the summer and all people care about right now is jobs.

Unemployment is 10% this is a psychological message to many Americans, the big double dip. People have become more caution on spending, starting to save a bit more, and are mired with worry of "Will it be me or my spouse next?"

All of these worries are valid.

We must create a jobs bill, demand and bring change on the financial regulatory front and stick with it to win in November.

The health care fight has exhausted many resources, time and energy. It is a much worthy cause, but at this time this ship has sailed the port. Can some things be done to fix it? Sure, but until the bill is reconciled, the standoff will continue. And let me be clear, the finger pointing and anger must cease among Democrats. No fraction of this party is at fault, the blame is on who crafted this disastrous bill and who did not champion it. The crafting is from Baucus and lobbyists, the one who did not champion it to make sure it was pulled over the final line is Barack Obama. Period.

No more blaming conservadems, moderates, centrists, progressives or liberals, the State of the Union's full focus is on JOBS, JOBS, JOBS and this economy which has been sorely ignored by this White House. And don't argue that the White House has not ignored it, from polling after polling; many Americans believe that this White House has not handled, nor focused on the economic issues. The reality is this, if the public believes that, if it comes up in polling numbers, it will come out at the ballot box. Remember that. Massachusetts was convoluted and hard to read for many things, but one thing was consistent, the voters did not believe this White House was working hard enough on getting people back to work.

That is about to change, the course correction is evolving and this is the new fight for November.

President Barack Obama's chief political adviser says the president will focus on job-creating plans in his State of the Union address Wednesday night.

Strategist David Axelrod says the White House takes only "cold comfort" from the fact that the president's stimulus program saved about 2 million jobs - given the millions lost in the deepest economic downturn in decades.

Axelrod says that the administration continues to share the public's "consternation" with the financial sector, which was bailed out with public money and has returned to massive profits and huge bonus pay-outs.

Axelrod spoke Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."

This is the immediate reality: jobs, unemployment, bank bailouts, anger at Wall Street, and the perception of no help on My Street.

That is what needs to be tackled and we are in the position to do so, but with some changes, in my opinion.

The Jobs Bill must and will be passed through congress and with Republican support. How? Why?

It is called taking their "balls to the wall on this one". This is an easy win. Democrats can champion putting people back to work immediately, helping small businesses, helping Americans with education to qualify for jobs, all of this can be done and it must come from the loudest bully pulpit of President Obama. This is a fight that is winnable. Paint the Party of "NO" with saying "NO to helping American Families get back on their feet, "NO" help with education in changing job careers, "NO" help with the small business sectors of this country. Make the Republicans take that NO vote and see how it turns out. Then run with it all the way to the polls in November.

That's how you win elections.

The anger at these bank bailouts and Wall Street is not a myth it is real. Every time we hear of more bonus money or record profit that these banks made off of our taxpayers’ money, it enrages folks and that is understandable. Also continuing to have Tim Geithner and Larry Summers in the White House, does not help matters on the message front.

This perception does not help, but hurt us:
The vaunted White House economic team may have called some shots right, but the members aren't helping much in getting a concise message out, critics said.

High-powered and experienced in Washington policymaking, the group has included former Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers, ex-Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker and onetime New York Fed chief -- and current Treasury secretary -- Timothy F. Geithner, as well as such respected academic economists as Christina Romer.

Now, even some Democrats see the team as conventional in its economic thinking, too cozy with Wall Street and ineffective in communicating how its policies would benefit ordinary people.

The problem, said Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University, stems from the president and his economic team focusing on pragmatic, nuts-and-bolts responses to the economy's woes.

"He wants to create jobs. He wants to restore the viability of our financial systems . . . make our economy more green. There is a set of well-defined objectives he's trying to achieve," Stiglitz said.

"Part of a pragmatic approach is you make a list. It's not a vision."

Obama seemed to acknowledge the problem last week.

"If there's one thing that I regret this year," he said in an interview on ABC-TV, it was that "we were so busy just getting stuff done and dealing with the immediate crises that were in front of us, that I think we lost some of that sense of speaking directly to the American people about what their core values are."

If we are going to run as a party that will not tolerate the raping of Americans by Wall Street and these Banks, we need to have people to champion that message. So far, the job has been dismal. Neither Geither nor Summers is good on television and the arrogance of Summers stating the recession is over is not felt on My Street when many are unemployed. The President needs to make a decision to keep either or both around. Geithner has had his own problems, the obvious that his policies are helping Wall Street and not My Street, whether that is a fair assessment is not for me to call, but it is an assessment that the public believes. The miscalculation of the public's anger at Wall Street stops at the White House. The White House needs to clean this perception of being cozy to Wall Street up. A strong bill for Wall Street is doable, again paint the Party of "NO" to wanting to continue lining the coffers of Wall Street and the banks, and believe me it can work.

Bringing in David Plouffe is a good thing, but remember he is there to work on getting Democrats elected he is not the silver bullet or silver lining. In my view, this White House has been on campaign mode since 2008 and the people of this country are in meltdown from its message. Going forward the message must be simple, concise, cohesive and decisive for the American Public to grasp. No more, "I will fight for you", unless you can deliver that punch line. It is time for the Commander in Chief to tell congress what he wants, tell the American Public what he wants and show that he means business.

Winning in November is easy, but the changes must be made along with the course correction. And the best thing out of all of this? It happened in January (Massachusetts special senate election), which means we have 10 months to get it together. Communication is the key for getting a cohesive message out. Our team has been pathetic on the messaging. From polling many Americans think the stimulus package is part of the bailout package to banks. (Video Below)

Folks, this is a "Houston we got a problem" alert. The Obama White House needs to be cleaned up on the Communication effort. We all can argue from here to Timbuktu about it, but the fact is really simple, if the American Public believes this then we just did a bad job in conveying how the stimulus package was/would be good for them. This is too simple and just needs to stop from the White House.

Going forward, the economy and jobs should be the focus of our message, along with understanding the public's frustration at Wall Street. The President should demand banking and Wall Street overhaul in new laws. We should use this populist message to push change and put in place mechanisms that Wall Street and these banks will never come to the financial brink again. The time to push this is NOW.

Finally, today the President announced a tax break for the Middle Class, this is a step in the right direction for My Street.

Cross-posted @ Daily Kos

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