Chris Matthews may still support Obama but he and other liberals are clearly frustrated by the President’s performance lately, based on last night’s conversation with Salon’s Joan Walsh and MSNBC political commentator Ron Reagan.
Matthews: It seems to me that something has broken bad lately. What do you think of that? Joan first.
Walsh: I agree Chris. I think that the president went out of his way to get a deal with the Republicans. He put a lot of things on the table. As a liberal Democrat I wasn’t happy with that but I was rooting for him to get a deal and he didn’t. I think that his “I’m the best compromiser, I’m the reasonable man” routine is not a routine it’s who he is. I think that that is wearing a little bit thin and I think that we really need to see him begin to articulate a Democratic party vision of how to get this country moving again and until he does we may continue to see slippage. There is something wrong with what just happened in the last two weeks and everyone agrees on that point. He needs to articulate what’s going to make it better besides cutting the deficit more than the other side.
Matthews: Yeah Ron. It seems to be that a politician either has to be tougher than the other side or a lot smarter, a lot more cleverer. He didn’t show either in this last go round.
Reagan: No he really didn’t. I think many progressives at least understand that the country is in a place right now where we really need a transformative leader and that was the sort of leader that President Obama promised he would be. He talked about being a transformative president. But once he got into office we seemed to have discovered now that at least temperamentally that he is unwilling to break the furniture, tip over the system that already exists here, really get down to the brass tacks of doing something different, transforming the system that we all agree is broken. He just doesn’t seem to want to do that. You get the feeling that what we really elected was a center-right politician.
Matthews then read from a story in The Washington Post which reported that Democrats want Obama to take a bolder stand which Matthews agreed with.
Matthews: Sometimes you don’t have to be brand new and novel. You simply do the right thing. If a fire’s burning you put it out. Sometimes things are basic. If people are out of work, you put them to work. It’ ain’t complicated Mr. President.
These are hard times indeed for liberal Democrats in the media who helped elect Obama almost three years ago and have now come to the realization that he can’t and won’t deliver all the change they had hoped for. It must be doubly difficult for Matthews, who has been one of the most enthusiastic Obama supporters in the media, to realize that the thrill he felt up his leg three years ago is now gone and replaced by the harsh reality of a failed President.
In addition to last night’s analysis of Obama, Matthews also had this to say earlier this week about shovel-ready jobs.