Obama's Suddenly a Centrist
Shifting president must be worried about independents
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2009 8:27 AM CST
Updated Dec 11, 2009 8:34 AM CST
President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Barack Obama listens to the Chairman of the Nobel committee Thorbjorn Jagland, not seen, during the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony at City Hall in Oslo, Thursday.   (AP Photo/Odd Andersen)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – President Obama must be worried about independents and moderates, because he’s made a dramatic shift to the center in recent days. In an economics speech Tuesday, Obama lavished praise on small businesses, promising tax cuts as incentives to grow. “This is how Republicans, moderates and centrists think, and talk,” writes Peggy Noonan for the Wall Street Journal. “It was as if he were waving his arms and saying, ‘Hey taxpayer, I’m not your enemy!’”

Obama’s Nobel prize speech, too, was a play for America’s center, speaking of Afghanistan as a “just war” and reminding Europe that the US had “helped underwrite global security for more than six decades.” If this shift to center is real, it’s “welcome news,” and smart politically. It’s tougher to criticize a president with centrist policies. “Bill Clinton knew this. Maybe the White House is learning it the same way he learned it: after a bruising.”