Milton R. Wolf says that re-election panic is visible everywhere these days, and oh, my! how Obama’s unflappable image is changing now that the pressure’s on.
Something unexpected happened along the presidentâ€™s breezy cruise to re-election. â€œNo dramaâ€ Obama is suddenly looking about as calm as Jerry Lewis in a French film, about as brave as Ted Kennedy after an evening drive through Chappaquiddick. Witness Team Obamaâ€™s recent panicky behavior.
Obamanomics anxiety. The White House is reeling as its reverse Midas touch to the economy is being exposed. Its own economists acknowledge now that each job created or â€œsavedâ€ by the so-called â€œstimulusâ€ cost taxpayers a whopping $278,000. This is still fantasyland because there are 1.9 million fewer jobs on record now than on the day the stimulus was signed into law, but nonetheless, the quiet pre-holiday Friday night news dump of an announcement reveals the administrationâ€™s worry. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke admitted last month that heâ€™s clueless why Americaâ€™s economic malaise continues. Tax cheat and Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, who called President Obamaâ€™s budget â€œunsustainable,â€ wants to abandon ship along with the rest of the â€œeconomic dream teamâ€ escapees: Lawrence H. Summers, Christina Romer and Austan Goolsbee. Meanwhile, the president, apparently believing no news is good news, has put his fingers in his ears – â€œLa la la, I cannot hear youâ€ – and, at one point, canceled his daily economic briefings.
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