Obama's "Change" Danger

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Feb 03, 2009 3:00 PM
The more things change . . .  that's right, the more they look the same.

Every new administration has its share of embarrassments and snafus as it gets underway.  But it strikes me that this phenomenon poses a particular danger to someone who, like President Obama, marketed himself as an agent of "change" and an opponent of "business as usual."

Cabinet nominees and officials with tax problems.  Petty hypocrisy when it comes to climate change (deprivation for thee, but not for me?).  Permitting a stimulus package that's really nothing more than a left-wing Democrat wish list to progress.  All the "exceptions" to the administration's supposed ban on lobbyists.

None of it would be good news for any President.  But especially in times of economic hardship, it's dangerous for the overall message emanating from the Obama White House to be that: Those in government (or once in government) enjoy the perquisites of the privileged -- and manage to take care of thenselves and their friends very well --  while regular people must get by as best they can.

For one who has come so far largely because of lofty "we're all in this together" rhetoric, favorable media coverage, a cult of personality and a mantra of "hope" and "change," there's particular political danger in all this.  If the bad news reaches critical mass and disillusionment and resentment begin to set in among those who took a chance on Obama, the honeymoon could be over fast.

And if public opinion begins to trend that way, not all the fawning press coverage in the world will be able to save it.  (In fact, some angry voters might even look angrily toward the MSM that pumped Obama so relentlessly throughout the campaign.)