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JAY COST: The Store Is Closed – The Weekly Standard

August 27, 2011

Morning Jay: The Store Is Closed

AUG 24, 2011 • BY JAY COST

In a recent interview with CBS, President Obama said:

I’m the President of the United States and when people aren’t happy with what’s happening in Washington…I’m gonna be impacted just like Congress is. And you know I completely understand that, we expected that.

But when you look at how people feel about my approach to deficit reduction or when you look at how people feel about my belief that we’ve gotta continue to invest in education or medical research or making sure that we’re rebuilding our roads and our bridges and our seaports and our airports, when you look at how people feel about the agenda to rebuild America so that it’s competitive in the 21st century that I’ve been promoting over the last couple of years, it turns out that people are supportive of that.

What they’re frustrated right now is they want me to be able to wrangle Congress and get them moving. And you know, we’ve got this thing, separation of powers, and we don’t have a parliamentary system. And it means that there are times where Congress is gonna do things despite what I saw as opposed to because I think this is the right direction for the country.

This is a theme that the president has been pushing since his 2004 convention speech. We’ve heard it time and again: There are forces out there (usually unnamed) who seek to divide us for their narrow agendas, but Barack Obama himself is the one man who rises above all this, who understands the true public interest and works tirelessly to realize it.

This message is why Obama attracted so many intellectuals, including some on the right, in the 2008 campaign. Rarely do we hear a politician capture so succinctly the challenge of republican government–how to translate the personal interests of 312 million Americans into the public good? Candidate Obama claimed he could do that, and nearly 53 percent of the electorate in 2008 believed him.

But President Obama behaved very differently in 2009 and 2010. Consider:

via Morning Jay: The Store Is Closed | The Weekly Standard.

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