John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


On the President’s Meeting with Senate Democrats

Posted on February 4, 2010

On the President’s Meeting with Senate Democrats

Because they felt left out, Senate Democrats invited President Obama to give them an opportunity to give their struggling individual campaigns a boost on national television.

Blanche Lincoln, who is down big in the polls in her home state of Arkansas, told the President, “People out there watching us, they see us nothing more than Democrats and Republicans up here fighting.”

Michael Bennett, who is struggling in the polls in Colorado, told the President: ““This place looks broken to the American people.”

Evan Bayh, who all of a sudden is facing a very tough reelection campaign in Indiana, told the President: Why should the Democratic Party be trusted? And are we willing to make some of the tough decisions, to actually head this country in a better direction?”

Last week, the President and the House Republicans -- that small band of happy conservative warriors –had a respectful, spirited and dignified debate that helped both Mr. Obama and the GOP.  They were both implicitly blaming Congressional Democrats for the troubles of the country.

Yesterday, Senate Democrats seemed to accept responsibility for the failures of Washington.  Of course, Bennett, Bayh and Lincoln were all exactly right. The American people see only partisan bickering, a broken Congress and they have lost faith in the Democratic Party.

I am not sure if that was the message that they were trying to send though.

President Obama reminded his allies in the Senate that despite the victory of Republican Scott Brown, the Democrats still had a huge majority in both the House and the Senate.

What the President didn’t seem to understand is that it is not size of your majority that matters.  What matters is the quality of your ideas and the support those ideas have from the American people.

The people don’t want more government in their lives.  They don’t want more taxes in their lives.  They don’t want more government jobs created that have big pension obligations.  They don’t want their health care threatened, they don’t want their health care premiums to double because of government action, they don’t their next visit to the doctor’s office to remind them of their next visit to the DMV.

The event yesterday with the President and his allies was an embarrassment.  It was obsequious.  It was banal.   And it was a sign of desperation.