The Corner

Axelrod’s Poverty of Ideas

On CNN’s State of the Union this morning, Candy Crowley pushed Obama adviser David Axelrod on the president’s election message, and why he deserves a second term. Host Candy Crowley pointed out that by wide margins Americans still believe the U.S. economy is on the wrong track, but Axelrod pushed back with a different set of polling statistics, arguing that “by a huge margin, people think this president is an advocate for the middle class,” and consider him someone who will build “an economy that works for the middle class.”

When asked what that would mean for his second term, and “what’s different” about Obama from 2012 to 2016, Axelrod reached back to the beginning of Obama’s first term, saying, “we’ve come a long way from when we were losing 800,000 jobs a month,” and explaining that the administration has created 5 million jobs from the low point of the recession.

Crowley pushed him on the issue, asking, “what are the specific proposals?” Axelrod repeated a set of Obama proposals familiar to all political observers now: spending on green energy and “100,000 science and math teachers,” tax changes to encourage domestic manufacturing, etc., and Axelrod concluded, “I believe these plans will pass.” The host was quick to point out, “But they haven’t passed.” Axelrod admitted that “some of these proposals haven’t passed,” to which Crowley argued they are “goals,” rather than realistic accomplishments. When asked how preserving proposals the president has had for the past two years would not constitute a “stay the course” strategy, Axelrod offered, well, more of the same, explaining that “the president has a series of specific proposals around education, around energy . . . We need a long-term plan, not taglines for a show like this.”


Patrick Brennan — Patrick Brennan is a writer and policy analyst based in Washington, D.C. He was Director of Digital Content for Marco Rubio's presidential campaign, writing op-eds, policy content, and leading the ...

Most Popular


Courage: The Greatest of Virtues

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Or Listener), As the reporter assigned the job of writing the article about all of Sidney Blumenthal’s friends and supporters told his ... Read More

My American Dream

This morning, at 8 a.m., I did something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember: I became an American. I first applied for a visa in early 2011, and since then I have slowly worked my way through the system — first as a visa-holder, then as a permanent resident (green card), and, finally, as a ... Read More

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More