President Obama, who sailed into office thanks in large part to widespread support from the mainstream media, is in danger of losing a key ally as he heads into his reelection campaign.
The latest chink in his media armor comes from The New York Times — a paper that Obama has said liberals are more likely to read — with not one, but two editorials taking the President to task for his inability to get things done.
One editorial addressed the unemployment crisis the country is facing and challenged the President to quit dithering and to show some leadership for a change.
Congress, left to its own devices, won’t get it done. Presidential leadership, daily and unrelenting, is needed. But as Binyamin Appelbaum and Helene Cooper reported in The Times, Mr. Obama and his advisers are still debating whether it is worth pushing any bold proposals, fearing that voters will see it as a failure if they don’t make it through Congress. That is an excuse for not trying. It also underestimates the intelligence of the American people.
But that’s asking a lot from a man who seems to prefer to compromise than stick to the liberal agenda, which he promised to deliver when elected in 2008.
That leads to the second editorial, which focused on Obama’s anger, or lack of it, at key times.
His anger is long overdue. But it would be much more effective if he combined it with strong ideas of his own for how to fix the economy, rather than the thin agenda he is now promoting?
In the words of Clara Peller — “Where’s the beef ?”
One final stab by the Times started with praising Obama’s push back against what the paper saw as incessant government bashing by conservatives. They credited him for saying that the government isn’t really broken since it houses people during emergencies, fights fires and crime and sends out pension checks. But they then questioned his commitment to follow through in any meaningful way:
That argument and that contrast would be much easier to make if Mr. Obama came up with policies big enough to match his newfound anger — and big enough to get the economy growing again.
The Times, perhaps the most influential voice among the liberal media, is joining a growing number of such voices that are becoming increasingly frustrated with Obama and his policies, or lack thereof, thus endangering his reelection chances next year.