November 08, 2011
NYC Letter: Down The Memory Hole -- The "Not As Bad As We Think" Economy
Day 1,021 of CHOPE
Briefing Room description on the White House Web site:
The White House provides timely and accurate information about the President's latest events and public statements. Here you'll find photos, video, and blogs, as well as proclamations, executive orders, and press releases.
Q: Guess where you won't find the below quote?
So my view — you know, people ask me sometimes, well, you seem like a pretty calm guy, how do you do that? I say, well, look, I don’t think things are ever as good as they say and they’re never as bad as they say. And things two years ago were not as good as we thought because there were a lot of underlying weaknesses in the economy, and they’re not as bad as we think they are now.
the "calm guy" president, taking things in stride
REMARKS TO THE BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE
WASHINGTON March 12, 2009 (WSJ)
A: The White House Web site.
The quote comes from the Q&A following Mr. Obama's prepared remarks ("Thank you. Thank you so much. Please, everybody have a seat. I want to get to some Q&A as quickly as possible, so let me dive right in.").
What makes this omission flagrant is that the WSJ is reprinting the transcript released by the White House at the time -- yet this transcript is not posted to the White House site.* The only hint of the March 12 Roundtable transcript is a brief excerpt from the prepared remarks posted to the White House Blog on the same date. Other Business Roundtables' transcripts can be found on the site, e.g., here (May 27, 2011) and here (February 24, 2010).
So why has the March 12 Roundtable transcript been disappeared? [Jeopardy thinking music.] Time's up. Our guess is, as the above quote suggests, the optimistic "calm guy" of March 2009 -- the spread-it-arounder, the wand-waver, the zip-a-dee-doo-dah president -- lost out to the exculpating Great-Depression, Bush-inheritance themes. These themes were briefly intertwined and reworked as the thudding Slurpee trope of the 2010 mid-terms.
And what’s happened -- and I think that was indicative of that performance as well -- is, is that over the last two and a half years, change turned out to be tougher than a lot of us expected. Right? I think a lot of folks didn’t recognize that we might end up going through the worst recession since the Great Depression, and that we’d see 8 million jobs lost, devastating entire communities all across the country. I think we didn’t anticipate a housing crisis that kept on worsening, or the potential of a financial meltdown.
We bring all this up because Mr. Obama is running for re-election on the strength of his "vision thing". It seems to us that missing the "worst recession since the Great Depression" three months into his presidency after campaigning on the economy and spending $862B** only to discover almost three years later another $467B is needed to do what the first bigger spend did not is not evidence of "vision". Indeed, it seems indicative of no vision at all.
But that's us.
Not as bad, but somehow worse.
* We scoured the WH site for March 2009 archived on the Wayback Machine, it's not there. The March entries are from the WH site archives as archived by WB in October 2010. The absence of the transcript in the WB archives is not dispositive, however either the transcript was scrubbed or it is was never there to begin with.
** This apparently was still shy by several hundreds of billions of dollars of Team Barry's ideal stimulus.Posted by Damian at November 8, 2011 05:00 PM