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The Campaign Spot

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

Why Obama Won’t Grade Himself on the Economy



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The Romney campaign sends along:

In case you missed it from this morning, President Obama refused to give himself a grade for his work on the economy during his interview on The View.

In December 2009, President Obama Gave Himself A “Good Solid B Plus” For His Work During His First Eleven Months In Office. “US President Barack Obama, in remarks aired late Sunday, awarded himself a B plus for his first 11 months in office, stressing in an interview with talk show queen Oprah Winfrey that there was still much to be done. ‘A good solid B plus,’ Obama said during an hour-long, intimate soft-focus ABC network Christmas at the White House special, when Winfrey asked what grade he would give himself.” (“Obama Gives Himself B+ For First Months In Office,”AFP, 12/14/09) 

But today, President Obama refused to give an answer altogether. 

·          This Morning On “The View,” President Obama Refused To Give Himself A Letter Grade For His Work On The Economy. 

HASSELBECK: “Mr. President, I believe it was with Matt Lauer in 2009, you sat down, you were talking about the economy and you said in three years I’ll be held accountable. If I don’t have this done, quote, in three years, then  there’s going to be a one-term proposition. Admittedly so in our first segment, you said that Americans are still feeling the hurt of the economy. So how do you grade yourself, honestly, in terms of how you’ve done in terms of economics? 

OBAMA: “You know, I won’t give us a letter grade. I think it’s still incomplete.” (ABC News’ “The View,” 5/15/12)

Ah. A downgrade, it seems. Well, we’ve seen plenty of those during Obama’s presidency.

I do think this is significant in that if Obama thought he could make a credible, plausible, persuasive case that he deserves an “A,” he would have done so. He could even have said, “I’ve accomplished some of the reforms I wanted, but not all, so I’ll give myself a B.”

But with…

… Obama can’t really argue for anything more than a “C” at best, and then the headline would be, “Obama Gives Himself a ‘C’ on the Economy.” If Obama had given any letter grade, really, either an unrealistically good grade or a realistically disappionting grade, he would have provided the Romney campaign with days worth of fodder. The only question was whether the message would be “out of touch, rosy-colored glasses, ignoring the 23 million Americans suffering” or “even Obama admits that his economic policies have failed.”

So the president dodges.

He should have just said, “Present.”

Of course, this is precisely the sort of question the president should expect in questioning from now until November.


Tags: Barack Obama , Economy , Mitt Romney


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