Obama trying to temper furor over AIG bonuses

United States
March 24, 2009 3:22am CST
After playing into the public fury over the AIG bonuses for days, Obama and his allies "are in danger of being trampled by the mob Here we go again!! Does this president have a clue how to run this country? Another example of his incompetence? Your opinion? President Barack Obama is trying to dampen a fire he once stoked, urging a more tempered response to public furor over bonuses paid to executives of the publicly rescued insurance giant American International Group. Obama's tone changed dramatically after the House voted last week for targeted taxes to take back most of the $165 million in bonuses paid to AIG executives. Many lawmakers felt Obama had encouraged their step, because he called the bonuses reckless, outrageous and unjustified. For a president who prides himself on staying unflappable and on message, it was an awkward pirouette. The political dance may be far from over as Obama continues to weigh the potency of public anger against the danger of overreacting and alienating bank executives whose cooperation is needed in the bid to get credit flowing again. A mob can be useful in driving a political movement, "but its usefulness tends to dissipate when you're trying to craft careful policy," said John Feehery, a former aide to top GOP lawmakers. After playing into the public fury over the AIG bonuses for days, Obama and his allies "are in danger of being trampled by the mob," he said. "They have to coolly explain what they're trying to do." http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090324/ap_on_go_pr_wh/obama
3 people like this
7 responses
@matersfish (6311)
• United States
24 Mar 09
At the risk of sounding racist - and I know that some sensitive people love nothing more than finding instances of "racism" in today's America - this is how I see our President Obama: He's suited by a rally leader, much like the great Civil Rights activists of America. He's flamboyant, a great speaker (when his material is laid out in front of him), and he really gets the people amped up and marching toward whichever cause (celebra) he wants. But when it comes to policy, he's in wholly uncharted waters. What he's doing, and I doubt anyone can deny it, is throwing things out, seeing how they're taken by the public, and then retreating if it's not the response he wanted. Again, this is great for an activist, but in dire need of improval for a President... or any other politician. "We should demand AIG employees not get bonuses!" Oh, Mr. President, the public is wise to the fact that this was a smoke screen. "Well, then, let's put out this fire of hatred, America, it's not needed!" "We're in the WORST crisis since the Great Depression. We're doomed!" Oh, Mr. President, the public realizes that this isn't as bad as the Reagan era recession, so they want to hear hope, not hopeless. "Well, then, let's stop this depressing attitude, America, and admit that 'yes we can' get out of this mess!" Attitude changing is one thing. And again, that's something an activist can do. This is Obama's strength. This is why he's still campaigning after winning! Something in itself that is unheard of for an American President to do. But when it comes to the massive spending he's introduced, he CAN NOT take that back if it isn't working out. And that's the great fear we're all faced with now. His talking point faux pas are as changeable as the wind's direction. He'll have the media in his corner regardless to back him up. But his policy decisions and mega-trillions lotto could quite possibly cause America to fail and NEVER recover -- and far too few people are up in arms over the fact that we have a speechmaker in the White House deciding the fate of our children's future. Well, more specifically, we have hardcore, wing-tips progressive liberals like Pelosi, Reid and Frank deciding our children's futures. That makes it even more saddening and maddening because Obama is their speech man who'll never step outside the party's cause.
3 people like this
• United States
24 Mar 09
Excellent response! I never give Best Responses in less than a couple of weeks after posting but this is deserving of it even so soon.
2 people like this
• United States
24 Mar 09
Activist is a good word to apply to Obama, he is like the proverbial leaf blowing in his chosen political winds. His political stances constantly change make me wonder if maybe he is just a puppet whilst someone else pulls the strings.
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Mar 09
Thanks you for the best response award. I'm not sure I'm deserving; I think a lot know "who" and "what" Obama is, but I won't refute my best response. lol @ Sumo I really think the rest of the far-left radicals are trying to use him as a puppet. However, I think what REALLY makes Obama a dangerous man is that he's unware of it. He's an extremely vain individual, and he carries around that "you can't stop me" attitude. I could very well be wrong, but Obama seems to do HUGE things simply because he can -- like the ultimate power trip. For example, I don't think he signs those huge Bills without reading them because they're constructed by other leftists. I think he does it to spite anyone who disagrees with him. A community organizer waking up one morning and realizing he's President of the United States should be a very scary prospect for all of us. Let's hope that if he is indeed on a string, somebody will have sense enough to pull it back a tad.
2 people like this
@Lakota12 (42794)
• United States
24 Mar 09
REally thought it should have gone to banks and home owners to get back on track. also back to the little people and to other jobs so they can start hiring the people back! I am now wondering all the poeple that voted him in are holding their heads in dispare!?
2 people like this
• United States
24 Mar 09
They may have a hangover from all that kool-aid and vodka they must have been drinking.!!!!
2 people like this
@Lakota12 (42794)
• United States
24 Mar 09
lol yup!
1 person likes this
@xfahctor (14113)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
24 Mar 09
The problem with a mob is once they are whipped up, you can no longer controll where the anger is directed and once they see who the real problem is, and they will, they will turn that anger towards it. the anger at AIG, for most people, was short lived once it came out hwta exactly really happened. though there are still die hard idealogues still threatening AIG execs, the large majority of outrage is directed at the government in general. People on capitol hill and the white house are starting to develop a good healthy fear of us, the people. Obama has now raised "constitutional concerns" over the recent congressional bill to liegally retro tax the AIG bonuses, as well as one of the vice presidents aids. It looks like the President will veto this, at least he better. I think this is a combination of beign exposed and the now developing fear they are rightfully being over come with, rather than a decision of concience.
2 people like this
• United States
24 Mar 09
Very true...thank you!
2 people like this
@yoyo2323 (465)
• China
24 Mar 09
these days it seems that all the news papers headline this .i think it is really a tough time for him to manage the whole counrty.he is trying his best! maybe it will make more deficit ,but there are so many things to do .the enconermy is now in a mess.people are desprate.i think his biueprint can benifit all and the next generation in the us!and not matter how had the enconermy is ,pay attention to the education and sansation is wise. this just my opinion.
2 people like this
• United States
25 Mar 09
obama sure looks like hell lately! He looks like he has aged 25 years in the last 5 weeks.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Mar 09
I think every american taxpayer should be extremely pissed right now. I don't get how AIG thinks it's a good idea to give out american tax payer money to their employees as a bonus. Especially after they posted the largest quarterly loss in U.S. Corporate history.
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Mar 09
I said it once before, but I guess I can say it again....beware of man with greased tongue. Obama's polished oratory skills are supposed to make us think he is doing his part as an American and a President. His polish is starting to show signs of scuffing. He developed his entire campaign on what the American public wanted to hear, and now he cannot do anything he has promised. He developed his campaign on words not reality and it shows already. Fine words and ideas are often not easy to transmit into action and so we have a very bad mess now.
1 person likes this