Sep 8, 2009

Obama's Coming News Cycle: A Breakdown [Politics]


Barack Obama went into this Labor Day weekend amid a firestorm of controversy over his back to school speech. That firestorm was fanned a bit by Van Jones' resignation. So, what can Obama expect as the news cycle begins anew?

 Though we're sure Obama would like the nation to discuss his Labor Day health care push <a href="http://www.sltrib.com/business/ci_13286619">to the working masses</a>, the beginning of this week will likely be dominated by new angles on last week's big stories, like the fact that Obama will be "indoctrinating" our nation's school kids. Unfortunately for the right, the lessons are fairly mundane, like the importance of hand-washing and the need to stay in school. Rather than read <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/MediaResources/PreparedSchoolRemarks/">the entire speech</a>, here's a clever word cloud of all the words the president will be spouting. Though there's not much in there for the right to attack, some are already seizing on the President's assertion that kids use their education to fight social scourges like homelessness and discrimination. That bit already has some wingnuts <a href="http://www.therightperspective.org/2009/09/07/obama-school-speech-mixes-in-leftist-agenda/">claiming</a> the President wants to incite "class warfare." Surprisingly, some of the usually outspoken suspects are opting out of an attack.  Despite his virulent opposition to the school speech, mid-level GOP leader <a class="autolink" title="Click here to read more posts tagged JIM GREER" title="Click here to read more posts tagged JIM GREER" href="http://gawker.com/tag/jim-greer/">Jim Greer</a> has now read the text and <a href="http://wdbo.com/localnews/2009/09/florida-gop-chair-to-let-his-c.html">has mustered enough rationality to let his kids watch</a>: "It's a good speech.... It encourages kids to stay in school and the importance of education." <a class="autolink" title="Click here to read more posts tagged NEWT GINGRICH" title="Click here to read more posts tagged NEWT GINGRICH" href="http://gawker.com/tag/newt-gingrich/">Newt Gingrich</a> <a href="http://www.politico.com/blogs/politicolive/0909/Gingrich_Obama_education_speech_can_be_good_for_America_.html?showall">also</a> gave the speech high marks. Never fear, though, because Greer <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIb2LBo-LqY">still insists</a> his outrage was "warranted." One person who doesn't agree with that last big of self-defense: <a class="autolink" title="Click here to read more posts tagged LAURA BUSH" title="Click here to read more posts tagged LAURA BUSH" href="http://gawker.com/tag/laura-bush/">Laura Bush</a>.  The former first lady and school teacher had only wonderful things to say about Obama's controversial back-to-school speech. Mrs. Bush, whose Stepford Wife-like aura we've come to love, <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/09/07/laura.bush/index.html">praised Obama's efforts on CNN</a>, and <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJF3LMQBCX8">insisted</a> parents follow his lead to "encourage their own children to stay in school and to study hard and to try to achieve the dream that they have." She also said that people must "respect" the President, and insisted that it's "important" for lawmakers to work toward bipartisanship. While this particular white woman doesn't have any criticism for the Big O, we're sure there are plenty of others out there who would like to sound off.
 Yes, sadly for Obama, he's losing a the lily-white voting bloc he fought to win last year, especially white women and people over 50, simply aren't feeling his administration these days. <a href="http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-obama-politics7-2009sep07,0,7305762.story">Forty-two percent</a> of white ladies disapprove of the President's job, while only 43% of the 50-plus set think he's doing well, a drop from 52% last April. Even more alarming? Whites in the Northeast, one of the President's strongest regions last year, are fleeing by huge numbers: 43% aren't keen on his progress. That's a 16-point plunge since April. Obviously that "post-racial" dream was just that...  Another group that's not so pleased with the President? Progressives. They're all kinds of pissed over the hunky Jones' resignation, a fact that the <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203440104574398924037940810.html?mod=googlenews_wsj"><em>Wall Street Journal</em></a> highlights in an editorial "elaboration" on Jones' "incendiary" remarks. Thus, though the President's week has some bright spots, primarily Laura Bush, it will likely contain all the unmitigated outrage, manufactured controversies and general bad press that he rode into the weekend. No rest for the weary, hey mister President?









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