It appears as though Obama’s constant lecturing of the American public is starting to take its toll.
Politico’s Carol E. Lee finds that Democrats see this as a dangerous habit that Barry must break.
He has advised parents to “replace that video game with a book and make sure that homework gets done.” He has urged members of Congress not to read blogs or watch 24-hour cable news. And he’s challenged lobbyists, lawmakers, bankers, journalists, insurance companies and other heads of state to do a better job.
He’s prodded people to get off the couch, eat healthier and exercise more. He’s even suggested Americans buy stocks, U.S.-made cars and energy-efficient light bulbs, while cautioning them not to max out their credit cards.
At times, having Obama in the Oval Office is like having a really powerful Dr. Phil around.
But lately, Obama’s tsk-tsking has gotten him into some trouble. At the very moment he’s trying to recover his declining popularity and revive his party heading into the November elections, even some Democrats worry that he risks coming off not as the inspirational figure who galvanized the electorate in 2008 but as the embodiment of a dour Democrat that turns off some voters.
Dee Dee Myers, a former White House press secretary under President Bill Clinton, pointed out that, while Obama has long promised to tell people the truth even when it hurts, he needs to strike a balance.
“Part of what people liked about him during the campaign is that he talks to the American people like they’re grown-ups — you don’t have to pretend that you can eat ice cream and lose weight in order to be president,” Myers said. “He did that during the campaign by appealing to hope. … I think little of that has been lost.”
Added Democratic strategist Paul Begala, another Clinton veteran, “You got to be careful about that stuff, or you become a scold.”
Republicans are less forgiving.
And Republicans predictably roll their eyes at the steady flow of advice coming from the top of the country’s organizational chart.
“Nobody wants a national nanny,” said Republican strategist John Feehery. “It’s really annoying, and people don’t want to hear it.”
Rep. Tom Price, a Georgia Republican, thinks Obama has just taken a Democratic trait to a new level. “They want to tell you exactly how to eat, where to live, what light bulbs to purchase, what car to purchase, what house to purchase — down to the minute detail,” Price said.
But to some extent, it’s an approach that comes naturally to the former University of Chicago law professor, even if it might not always be effective. “The fatherly scold doesn’t work well, at least in part because he’s one of our youngest presidents,” said presidential scholar Stephen Hess of the Brookings Institution.Age hasn’t stopped the president, who, at 48, is at ease urging the Obama way — on a range of issues — onto those a lot more experienced than he is. He is at once Americans’ president and their additional dad, teacher, preacher, nutritionist, life coach and financial adviser.
Here’s the deal, Barry. Shut up with your lectures, stop spending ours and our kids’ money on your progressive pet causes and political slush funds, let us keep more of what we earn, stay out of our way and keep us safe. Now I’m no Harvard graduate, but it’s not rocket science.