The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Axelrod: Americans Didn’t Vote for Ideology, Yet Elected These Ideologists


Obama’s chief strategist David Axelrod assesses the showdown over the budget:

Just last year, voters “didn’t vote for more ideology. But yet they swept in a group that is very partisan and ideological,” he said. “You see that up in Wisconsin,” which has been divided in a war over union rights.

Isn’t this like arguing that Americans didn’t vote for conservative policies, even though they elected a lot of conservatives? (Notice the term “swept in” — he makes it sound accidental, like America was cleaning the front steps and got careless with the broom.)

Obama argued that his victory was a mandate for his agenda — recall, “I won.” But somehow Republican victories at the Senate, House, and gubernatorial levels carry no mandate; through some sort of giant national misunderstanding, Americans completely misread the agenda of the candidates they elected. An electorate that somehow knew precisely what it wanted in 2008 became careless and ignorant in 2010.


Tags: Barack Obama , David Axelrod


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