The Hiller Instinct: Obama's Stimulus
Less than three weeks after President Obama's Inauguration--and all the expectations for change that came with it--Washington is not changing at all, and the President seems powerless to make it. In fact, all the stimulus is stimulating right now is the division between Democrats and Republicans.
Add up the House and Senate stimulus votes, and 302 Democrats have voted "yes", but only three Republicans have joined them. Not even Pollyanna would call that "bi-partisan." This is obviously the Democrats' stimulus.
To broaden support among Americans-and put some pressure on the G.O.P.-the President who promised hope over fear has been forced to sell fear. Saying again today, in Indiana, that delay in Washington will only bring deepening disaster.
But holding campaign-style events and prime time news conferences is a sign of weakness, not strength, because citizens don't vote on the stimulus, Congress does. And the President's words won't frighten Republicans, because they have some strong arguments against the bill, including a prediction from the Congressional Budget Office that-over the next ten years-the proposed stimulus will actually hurt the economy.
Put it all together and President Obama doesn't have to worry ever again about how long his honeymoon will last. It's over.
I’m Andy Hiller, that’s my instinct.