January 27th, 2010
BY FRED BARNES, The Weekly Standard
Obama is ignoring the clear message of voters in NJ, VA & MA
In the new movie The Young Victoria, the mother of Victoria and her chief overseer meet with the prime minister, Lord Melbourne, to discuss what role they’ll play now that Victoria has become queen of England. They’ve waged a fierce struggle to retain control over Victoria. Suddenly Melbourne cuts off the chatter and bluntly explains the situation. “You lost,” he says.
That’s the situation that faces President Obama and his White House advisers. Months of polls on the president and his policies, the Virginia and New Jersey governor’s elections, then last week’s momentous Massachusetts Senate race – all have sent the blunt message to Obama that, for now, he’s lost. But Obama and his team insist on pretending it’s not true.
This is a bad sign. One of the important tests of a president, especially a relatively new one like Obama, is how he deals with a serious setback. Does he respond rationally and realistically? In Obama’s case, the answer is no.
The president’s first response was to claim voters who elected Republican Scott Brown to fill the Senate seat held for decades by Teddy Kennedy were in some mysterious way actually backing Obama. “The same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office,” he told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.
“People are angry and they’re frustrated,” Obama said. “Not just because of what’s happened in the last year or two years, but what’s happened over the last eight years.” He didn’t explain why, if the Brown voters were his people, why he’d campaigned for Democrat Martha Coakley, Brown’s opponent.