“Obama just does not get it!” That was the sentiment expressed on two news channels at the conclusion of his news conference on Wednesday. Personally, I think he is shell shocked from the “shellacking” the Democrats took Tuesday evening. I don’t think he has absorbed the new reality that he will face. He seemed a little flat in his opening remarks; even though, he tried to seem humbled by the results. To me, he failed to grasp that the election was a referendum on his presidency. He tried desperately to tie the defeat to “jobs” and the economy. That was his recurring theme to justify the election. He did not mention healthcare or immigration; everything was about the economy! His advisors obviously drilled him that his path of least resistance was to focus on the plight of the American worker. But, he could not dodge the questions from the press corp! Still, he tried to turn all answers towards “jobs” until it became clear his strategy was not going to work.
Finally, he acknowledged that the healthcare legislative process was “ugly;” and he took responsibility for using ear-marks to get the bill passed. At that point, he talked about America being full of “good and decent” people…trying to deflect away from the issues. He called the stimulus and bail-outs “emergencies” and claimed that big government was not his style. In the end, I found his contriteness not believable; and he gave me no reason to be optimistic that he will moderate his agenda. The presidency is not a good place for “on-the-job” training….and that is what America is doing for Obama!