In a town hall meeting on August 21, 2008 in Chester, Virginia, regarding how he would bring about health care reform, Candidate Super Obama said: “I'm going to have all the negotiations around a big table… we'll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents, and who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies. And so, that approach, I think is what is going to allow people to stay involved in this process.”
At a debate on January 31, 2008 he said, "That's what I will do in bringing all parties together, not negotiating behind closed doors, but bringing all parties together, and broadcasting those negotiations on C-SPAN so that the American people can see what the choices are, because part of what we have to do is enlist the American people in this process.”
Earlier this month the reality of how President Obama was handling the debate over health care and the economy was much different than those promises of allowing people to stay involved and enlisting the American people in the process. At a fundraiser in early August Mark Knoller reports President Obama said, "I don't want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking. I want them to just get out of the way so we can clean up the mess!" In March, Mark Tapscott wrote, “As people focused more on the details and how they didn't square with what they thought he had promised during the campaign, the soaring rhetoric lost much of its power. It may even now be approaching a net negative because it throws so much more light on the inadequacies of the policies.”
“And so the ground has shifted and the essential narrative is changing…the mask is off and the disconnect between rhetoric and reality is emerging as the dominant driver of the Obama narrative. The contrast is no longer between the young, personable, historic candidate Obama and a creaky, cranky old Republican White Guy, it's between what America thought it was getting in a President Obama (cool, reasonable and beyond partisanship) and what it now sees as the reality of a President Obama (government spending out of control, an uncertain hand on foreign policy, broken promises, more bureaucrats, etc. etc.).” There is even more evidence today of what Tapscott called the “disconnect between rhetoric and reality” and it continues to grow. In addition to those listed above, a couple of recent “realities” of President Obama’s administration include weaker than promised job creation resulting from the stimulus bill, and last week’s announcement the 10 year federal budget deficit projection is now at 9 trillion dollars.
The only way President Obama is going to regain his superhero status is to distance himself as far away as possible from the reality of his administration’s actions. Until he is able to do that, his effectiveness will continue to weaken as surely as Superman in the presence of kryptonite.