Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank has definitely soured on Barack Obama’s repeated “pivots” to the economy. Milbank wonders how the President can make news on the economy by “delivering the same message he gave in 2005?”
By repeating the same talking points he has delivered since 2005, with seemingly no movement forward on any part of his agenda, Milbank says the President is signaling that he is “fresh out of ideas.”
The columnist slaps Obama for this latest pivot. It is “roughly the 10th time the White House has made such a pivot to refocus on jobs and growth,” Milbank says. The Post writer also jokes that “even a reincarnated Steve Jobs would have trouble marketing this turkey.”
Milbank notes that the political climate has changed since Obama was elected in 2008. The GOP has a stiffer backbone than they then did and that is why the President’s regurgitation of the same old talking points is a non-starter.
“If he’s to break through the resistance,” Milbank says, “Obama will need some bold new proposals. That’s why his speech returning to the oldies would seem to confirm that the White House has given up on big achievements.”
Finally, Milbank expresses some sympathy for Presidential spokesman Dan Pfeiffer, who is tasked with putting a sunny face on this tired agenda.
“I admire Pfeiffer’s pluck in trying to generate enthusiasm for what is largely a news-free initiative,” he writes. “And it’s smart politics for Obama to keep his emphasis on economic matters. But it would be easier to rally enthusiasm if he gave supporters something big, bold and new to reach for, rather than leftover proposals coupled with lofty ideals.”
Milbank is not alone in this negative characterization of yet another Obama pivot to the economy and jobs. NBC’s Chuck Todd also criticized the move as nothing but political rehash.
“You know what they’re acknowledging? That they have nothing new to say. Because what are they saying? ‘Hey, look back at this speech!’ He’s said it all before, so he doesn’t have anything new to say. He’s just going to say it differently,” Todd said on MSNBC.