OBAMA’S Strategy of Silence – The American Spectator
By GRACE-MARIE TURNER from the SEPTEMBER 2011 issue
The president is trying to hide from his “signature achievement.”
The White House is quietly implementing a shrewd new strategy of silence on Obamacare. Its goal: making sure the revolt against the unpopular health care overhaul that swept Republicans into power across the country in November 2010 isn’t repeated in 2012.
After two years of nonstop focus on health care, the president has stopped talking about the law’s far-reaching effects. Now he is concentrating on a few micro changes. Meanwhile the administration is working hard to dampen controversy by handing out buckets of waivers and attacking Republicans over Medicare.
Bringing Obama around to this new course wasn’t easy for his advisors. The day after last November’s elections, the president belligerently refused to acknowledge that the results were a referendum on his unpopular policies or that Obamacare had hurt Democratic candidates. His health policy agenda was correct and possibly only needed a bit of “tweaking,” he insisted.
But his advisers pored over the election results and reached an inescapable conclusion. “The economy, as important as it was, was not the decisive factor this election. Health care was,” Democratic pollster Pat Caddell said just after the election. “It is…health care [that] killed them,” Caddell said of the 63 defeated House Democrats. “The American people found this a crime against democracy…they want it repealed, and this issue is gonna go on and on.” Now the White House’s strategy has the president talking as little as possible about Obamacare.
We haven’t intercepted their memo to the Oval Office, but we can extrapolate from recent White House tactics what his advisers have recommended Obama must do: