Media gets ‘Obama comeback’ story wrong … again
After President Barack Obama gave his big debt-and-deficit talk – which the Wall Street Journal and Standard and Poor’s correctly interpreted as an unserious campaign speech – members of the mainstream media tripped over one another to declare how brilliant it was; a master stroke of triangulation and jujitsu and every other political clichés you can imagine.
“How Obama Used Paul Ryan,” was Aaron Blake headline in the Washington Post. “Wednesday’s speech was more about setting the terms of the battle ahead than pitching Obama’s own proposal. And in that regard, it was successful,” Blake wrote.
“NEW MOMENTUM,” blared Politico’s Mike Allen in his Playbook. “Top Dems sounded giddy after President Obama’s deficit address, explaining that he has taken on a shrewd issue — raising taxes on the top 2 percent. It fires up the base, and polls in the 60s. Advisers tell us Obama is better when he’s leading …”
It was then I realized the speech would backfire on the President. The mainstream media is almost always wrong when it tries to see around corners. In fairness to Blake and Allen, they both reported criticisms of Obama’s speech. But their snap analyses were representative of the media’s reaction as a whole.
So this morning we have a bit of evidence that Obama’s speech in fact was not “successful” and failed to spark any “new momentum.” An ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that the President’s numbers on the economy are staggeringly bad. Let Dan Balz and Jay Cohen tell the story: “57 percent disapprove of the job the president is doing dealing with the economy, tying his highest negative rating when it comes to the issue. And the president is doing a bit worse among politically important independents.”
The debt and deficit are not “the economy” of course, but in the minds of most Americans, they are unbreakably linked to the economy.
The survey was conducted between April 14 and April 17, just when you might think the speech would have had it’s most significant positive impact on the President’s numbers.