Where Obama Went Wrong With 'Pundit Delusion'

Hint: It's not because he's too liberal
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2010 1:58 PM CDT
President Barack Obama speaks about unemployment insurance and the economy in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Monday, July 19, 2010.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(Newser) – Pundits may argue that Barack Obama is too liberal, but they’re wrong, writes EJ Dionne of the Washington Post. The truth is that Obama is a center-left progressive, but because today’s politics are defined by the passionate political fringes, he’s not perceived that way. And that’s his own failing—“The president’s most important tasks include convincing the public that he’s doing the right thing,” he argues. “As long as Obama doesn’t define ‘Obamaism,’ his critics will do the defining for him.”

But Paul Krugman of the New York Times thinks that kind of prognosis is “the pundit delusion, the belief that the stuff of daily political reporting actually matters.” Yes, the public is grossly misinformed, but it pretty much always is. All that really matters to them is “the economy, stupid.” If it’s prospering, incumbents do well; otherwise, they don’t. Obama’s mistake was not passing a stimulus big enough to work; he thought a smaller one would look better. “The administration itself was taken in by the pundit delusion.”

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