Obama: Wall Street is Squeezing Main Street

The President polarizes the political debate once again, diverting attention from his dismal economic performance and increasing his chances of getting reelected, argues Times columnist Doyle McManus.

In a talk at in November 2010, veteran Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter warned that although President Obama spent hundreds of billions of dollars on the federal stimulus package and helped avert a global financial meltdown, his political fate would be sealed unless he succeeded in getting the national economy back on track.

In his lecture, titled “Can Obama Get His Groove Back?” which you can read about by clicking this link, Alter also argued that for all his brilliance on the 2008 campaign trail, Obama suffers from a surprising lack of effective communication skills. The professor-in-chief in the president, said Alter, betrays a disdain for sound bites, which can be deadly in politics.

Lately, however, Obama appears to be putting his talent for political populism to good use. According to Los Angeles Times columnist Doyle McManus, the president renewed his long overdue conversation with disgruntled voters in a speech in Kansas this past week by framing the 2012 presidential election as a stark choice between two political philosophies.

“His message—that Main Street has been squeezed by Wall Street and that the future will be even bleaker unless we raise taxes on the wealthy and invest in education, science and infrastructure—isn't new,” write McManus in a Times op-ed on Sunday. “But the president put it in a sharper, more moralistic framework than he has offered during most of his first three years in office.”

Click here to read McManus’s article about the potential rewards and pitfalls that Obama can expect from polarizing the political debate—and why it's unclear how his strategy will play out with independent voters who are the real deciders of political fortunes in present-day America.

Jim December 12, 2011 at 01:46 AM
The only thing squeezing Main Street is Obama and his regulations, czars, Anti Business, class warfare policies and rhetoric... Not to mention he rarely tells the truth....
jayres December 12, 2011 at 02:37 AM
As a conservative, readers probably already know why I don't think Obama deserves another 4 years, but if I were a liberal, I think I would be even more disappointed. Obama may be talking the talk as a populist fighting for main street against Wall street. The only problem is he refused to push meaningful financial reform and passed a watered down compromise that has no real teeth. Maybe that's why he blasts Wall Street then takes Air Force One up to New York to raise campaign funds from the Wall Street "fat cats", who gave Obama more money than any other candidate ever, last time around. But beyond that, Pres Obama, and 2 year Dem super majority in congress failed to pass the public option(or even put it up for a vote/caved early), he tripled troop levels in Afghanistan, renewed the Patriot Act, failed to close Gitmo, failed to pass comprehensive immigration reform, re-upped on the Bush tax cuts for the rich(even tried to call them the Obama tax cuts), he doesn't support gay marriage or medical marijuana, he hasn't help slow the foreclosure rate, unemployment is high and economic outlook is low. All the promises he made and could not accomplish with huge democrat numbers in congress, will be impossible now that Republicans run the house, and will soon control the Senate. He couldn't get it done then, it will only be more of a disappointment the next four years(if the American people and the economy can even bare it).
Jim December 12, 2011 at 02:42 AM
The tax cuts for . the rich really weer not.. The middle class and lower incomes received much larger tax decreases than the wealthy..It is just not convenient for the press and the democrats to mention that because it gets in the way of their class warfare agenda..
Jim December 12, 2011 at 02:46 AM
Thank Goid the public option did not pass.. Now the supremes have to deem the whole thing unconstitutional and throw it out.. It has NOTHING to do with healthcare.. It has everythig to do with the government taking control of 20% of the economy... If you think Obama or anyone in Washington cares about the People, you are sadly mistaken... Obama is a thug bought and paid for by other thugs, the unions...
John Goldfarb December 12, 2011 at 02:07 PM
That's the first time I've ever heard Obama referred to as a thug, but then I'm not a fan of Newsmax.com, Faux News, or the Koch brothers.
Jan Freed December 27, 2011 at 03:52 AM
Rarely tells the truth? Check Politifact and compare his record with ANY republican candidate.


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