Editors' note: this piece is co-authored by Adam Schaeffer.
In recent weeks we’ve seen a substantial shift in the way the nation’s elite speaks about the Obama administration. An administration once hailed for the most competent and seamless transition in presidential history now suffers from widespread charges of incompetence and lack of focus -- even from ardent supporters.
The flow of elite communication has started to shift against President Obama, and soon we can expect to see a significant erosion of support among the public – a shift on which Republicans and conservatives ought to capitalize.
Longtime deep-pocketed Democratic donor and MSNBC investment advisor Jim Cramer kicked off the trend by denouncing President Obama’s handling of the economy, calling it a “radical agenda” and the “greatest wealth destruction I've seen by a president.” On a separate occasion, Cramer requested a refund on the many large donations he made to Obama and the Democrats.
Earlier this week Warren Buffet criticized the administration’s handling of the economy and its lack of focus in favor of partisan political projects. We should be waging war on the economic meltdown, Buffett insisted, and Obama needs to keep his eye on that alone right now.
“If on December 8th when -- maybe it's December 7th, when Roosevelt convened Congress to have a vote on the war,” explained Buffett, “he didn't say, `I'm throwing in about 10 of my pet projects,’ and you didn't have Congresspeople putting on 8,000 earmarks onto the declaration of war in 1941 .”
Similarly, in a Washington Post oped, Intel microchip innovator and Obama supporter Andrew S. Grove confesses to “growing worry and frustration” and concern “over the ineffectual ways the administration has pursued [solutions to the economic crisis].”
Thomas Friedman, the quintessential hopeful moderate, writes that “it feels as if [President Obama] is deliberately keeping his distance from the banking crisis, while pressing ahead on other popular initiatives” and urges him to focus on the economic crisis.
At the liberal The New Republic, William Galston concludes about the Obama administration, “Their failure thus far to restore financial confidence raises two equally depressing possibilities: Either they do not know what to do, or they do not believe they can muster the political support to do what they know needs to be done."