The Campaign Spot

David Axelrod Needs to Meet More Economists

I’m glad that people are noticing that when Obama’s chief advisor David Axelrod won’t rule out the possibility of taxing employer-based health insurance, it’s a major reversal of Obama’s campaign rhetoric. I just wish more folks noted just how much of Obama’s campaign message was based on this — $44 million on 16 different attack-ad commercials ripping McCain for proposing the very same idea.

When a man won’t even stand by his attack ads, he’s really without principles.

Also note that Axelrod will no longer stand by Obama’s campaign declaration that families making under $250,000 would not see “any form of tax increase, not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.”

Something of a separate issue, stirred by watching Axelrod yesterday — does anyone find him an effective advocate for Obama? Has anyone watched him in one of these interviews and walked away saying, “Boy, he’s persuasive” or “Wow, his arguments are compelling”?

Yesterday David Gregory confronted him with February footage of himself:

MR. GREGORY:  Will this stimulus plan prevent unemployment from reaching 10 percent, do you think?

MR. AXELROD:  Well, that’s our hope.  That’s our hope.  There’s no doubt that without it that’s what, that’s where we were looking, double-digit unemployment.  And that’s what we’re trying to forestall.

Axelrod responded yesterday, “Well, look, everyone — at the time that I spoke, every single economic prediction was that the recession would be less severe than it turned out to be.”

Not even remotely true. Axelrod’s a smart man, he must have heard of Nouriel Roubini, certainly after the downturn of late last year when every major financial publication was quoting him.

Does Axelrod persuade anyone? Or does everyone just avert their eyes when he offers such astronomically implausible spin?

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