30 Issues: Independents

True/False: Obama Betrayed Political Independents

Monday, October 18, 2010

President Obama speaking at the White House on Friday, September 10, 2010 President Obama speaking at the White House on Friday, September 10, 2010 (New York Times/Screenshot)

Jon Cowan, president of Third Way, says the Democrats need moderates to win in November.


Jon Cowan

Comments [41]

@Sharon from Manhattan :

What health insurance company is presently providing you with a health insurance policy?

(just curious: when did your husband "lose his job?";
does he have any expectation of regaining it soon?)

God Bless your baby.

Oct. 18 2010 12:43 PM

What is Mr. Cowan talking about The Obama administrtion's so called ant-business rhetoric. The administrtion has gone out of their way to kiss the behind of big business time and time again to the detriment of to the Democratic base and the public at large. So when the business is actually srewing us we are supposed to tkae like good liittle boys and girls and if we are good maybe the big kind businessmen and women will allow some mild, watered down progressive measure to benefit the rest of us.

These Third Way DLC types are basically Republican Lite. It's OK to be socially liberal (abortion rights, gay rights etc.) but don't dare say anything about big business and big finance because they do so much for us little people.

Oct. 18 2010 12:09 PM
Steve from Brooklyn

This debate is going to be amazing! I thought the madam was good, but the rent is too high guy is off the charts!

Oct. 18 2010 11:39 AM
Steve from Brooklyn

This debate is going to be amazing!

Oct. 18 2010 11:37 AM
Freddy from NYC

For the Rent is too high candidate - What if I'm a land-lord, and I pass off the mortgage to the tenant Is he going to have the bank roll back my mortgage as well? My point is, his idea's are completely unrealistic.

Oct. 18 2010 11:35 AM

Well -
Mr. Cowan:

When you let your mask slip at the end (something about working for Prince Andrew at HUD; ), it was appeared to me that you are a champion of the "middle" in favor of . . .?
The insurgents of the tea party, and the truly non-partisan middle as well as the non-ideological left are realizing that Bush's 50& ownership or TARP and Obama's 50% ownership of TARP demonstrates that they are each 100% in the pockets of what they both usually decry as undefinable "special interests".
Bush is now gone (for the moment), but it can't go unnoticed that much of his high level economic brain trust has been re-appointed by Obama (Bernanke) or has been given a promotion (Geitner); of the approximately $2 Trillion dollars dispensed at the end of the Bush Administration and the beginning of Obama's - $1 Trillion went directly to rescue the already rich class of bankers and investment cowboys from their own reckless financial arrangements (CDO's, MBS's, and C3PO's); and the other $1 Trillion went to similar parties to indirectly assist the other 300 million people of the US.
Mr. Cowan would argue on behalf of his principals that that is a "down-the-middle" solution.
I respectfully demur. Hopefully, I will be joining my neighbors on election day to begin to put an end to these shennanigans.

Oct. 18 2010 11:15 AM
Sharon from Manhattan

I wanted to respond to the idea that the changes in healthcare haven't helped anyone, won't help anyone for 3 years, and are politically and economically too costly.

My husband lost his job and we lost our insurance. I then discovered I was pregnant (I'm 41 so it was a little unexpected) and I can personally testify that without the changes regarding prexisting conditions, I would not be able to obtain health insurance unless I was able to qualify for Medicaid.

Medicaid has a program that provides FREE prenatal care to women under a certain income (200% of the federal poverty line). But I would be unable to PURCHASE health insurance without Obama's changes.

So the functional result is nowI can pay $421 month in health insurance premiums, after Obama supposedly socialized medicine, but my husband would have to remain unemployed so our income would qualify for Medicaid to get any type of coverage BEFORE "Obamacare."

I'd much rather pay my own way for health insurance than force our income to stay low so we can qualify for a government program -- which is exactly what we would have to do if Republicans succeed in repealing the changes to health policy.

I would have to hen I became pregnant without health insurance, before the change, if you have a prexisting condition you couldn

Oct. 18 2010 10:46 AM
Curtis from New York

Betrayed is the wrong word. Disenchanted is better put. I feel most Americans are misinformed and just repeat the rhetoric of their favorite cable network. so the system and media is broken, how do we fix it?

Oct. 18 2010 10:42 AM

mr president is "republican bashing" and he should. don't put the car in R again!

Oct. 18 2010 10:39 AM

there are only 2 parties in this country.
pick one!
one is for big business, the other is for human dignity. pick one!

Oct. 18 2010 10:35 AM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

Right leaning Independent voters are at best torn between voting with the Tea Party candidate or staying home. Self-identified GOP'ers shrank to 20% of the population after the 2008 election, a third lower than the 33%-35% that would typically identify as Republican. IMO, these were GOP voters that were too embarassed by Dubya's record... Some of these voters returning home after the 'fever' subsides is only natural.

So far the only strategy that works for the GOP has been deny and delay. Deny their own record and/or let a Senate filibuster - or the threat thereof - stop forward movement on legislation, appointments, debate. Just say "No".

Democrats - and other Progressive have a unique opportunity if they would man up and go vote. The President's point of view is closer to their own than the GOP viewpoint will ever be. Shake off your indifference and make up your mind to go vote. Moving the President further left (after giving him a stonger mandate) will be a heck of a lot easier than trying to agree with whatever GOP candidate gets elected because you stayed home.

Oct. 18 2010 10:33 AM
The Truth from Becky

Brian, "republican bashing" really? Surely you jest!

Oct. 18 2010 10:31 AM
gary from queens

disaffected moderates simply were not paying attention to Obama's past and present associations and statements before he was elected:

Dinesh D'Souza
09.27.10, 12:00 AM ET
w w w

Victor Davis Hanson
September 15, 2010 4:00 A.M.
w w w

Victor Davis Hanson
October 15, 2010 4:00 A.M.
w w w

Stanley Kurtz
October 12, 2010 4:00 A.M.
w w w’s-radical-past-stanley-kurtz

Paul Kengor
October 5, 2010 6:30 P.M.
w w w’s-communist-mentor-paul-kengor?page=1

Paul Kengor
October 5, 2010 6:30 P.M.
w w w’s-communist-mentor-paul-kengor

Oct. 18 2010 10:31 AM

Anti-business? What anti-business? You mean when he bailed out the automakers? Who is this guy but another stalking horse for the right? The problem is that Democratic good hopes is no match for Republican LIES.

Oct. 18 2010 10:31 AM

Does anyone honestly think that if the Obama administration moves toward some mythical center -- all by itself -- that the other side will suddenly reach out and become bi-partisan? People are running for office who want to spend the next two years repealing health care, extending tax cuts, and demanding that Obama provide his birth certificate while preparing articles of impeachment. All in the name of the Constitution. Good luck to us.

Oct. 18 2010 10:29 AM
Xtina from E. Village

Reach across the aisle? Bipartisanhip?
Are you kidding? Obama has been trying to do this for the last two years, and everything that has failed is a direct result of these misguided attempts to work with politicians who do not have the country's interests at heart, but rather their own political, partisan self interests.

Oct. 18 2010 10:27 AM

Your guest speaks approvingly of Obama policy, then complains that the cost is unconscionable. The weight of academic economic theory since the Depression has been to spur public spending during a severe downturn. He had no real choice and it is far too soon to assess his effectiveness. A minority view has an outsized visibility and influence because of their deep pockets and their media.

Oct. 18 2010 10:27 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

The point that’s missed on all of these discussions is that the American political system is dysfunction. It is a system that sales it’s self to the highest bidder, and the people are given lip services. It’s a good thing that the Republican Part and Tea Party will have another opportunity to govern.
In 2 years we will see what they have offered this nation. A country deep in an economic morass, a gutted industrial bases, 2 destructive wars, growing unemployment and further class divide.
What is it that Republican are offering here?

Oct. 18 2010 10:26 AM
Robert from NYC

The reason he's accused of being both too liberal and not liberal enough is not because of what HE is, it's about what those who say the one or the other are. If they sit a bit to the right he's too liberal if they sit a bit to the left he's not liberal enough. I don't know what he is but I'm pretty left here and don't like what he's doing. He screwed up healthcare, yes he changed it, but not for the better. Obama lost me, I like him but he lost me. He would not get my vote today nor would any Republican for that matter. I would not vote that line or make a write in vote.

Oct. 18 2010 10:26 AM
Mike from NYC

The Post-Partisan idea was a creation of the media. The idea of cooperation between parties was what people wanted, but the success if the extreme right has given them proof that rejectionism is the way to power.

"Nobody every went broke by underestimating the intelligence of the American people."

Oct. 18 2010 10:25 AM
The Truth from Becky

I wish Brian Leherer would stop making sweeping statements! You have NOT heard from me I have also not participated in any survey asking my opinion, ever!

Oct. 18 2010 10:25 AM
Just like Rich from Sheepshead Bay

I'm a "Caller Rich" style democrat. I don't feel any particular loyalty or goodwill to any of your political parties right now. I just want to get my job back, and I will vote for whoever can give it to me.

Oct. 18 2010 10:23 AM
Jim from New York

• 51 Of the 52 largest metro areas in the US, saw a decline in median household income in 2009
• Home ownership in the United States declined for the third year in a row in 2009
•In 2009, approximately 4 million Americans fell out of the middle class and now live below the federal poverty line
• The bottom fifth of all U.S. income earners brought in just 3.4% of all income in 2009, while the top fifth brought in a whopping 49.4% of all income

These facts are not a result of Obama's actions -- but of a long Republican legacy of tax breaks for corporations and a consolidation of wealth in the top 5% of Americans.

Oct. 18 2010 10:23 AM

It is not just independents that feel betrayed. Everyone on the right and left feel betrayed by our corporatocracy and are lashing out. Brian is doing a disservice by having a discussion framing it with a right wing beginning. Got to keep those Gov. dollars, ehh Brian?

Oct. 18 2010 10:22 AM
Chris from Manhattan

So, your guest likes health care reform and financial reform and he is disappointed in Obama, why? I'm really confused about what all this "centrist" dissatisfaction is really about. They're worried about tax increases but hates the deficit. Come on!

Oct. 18 2010 10:21 AM

Listening to this -- in what way is your guest and moderate / independent? He's just a tea partier in sheep's clothing -- talking about the deficit and future genrations and how if Congress becomes more right leaning, Obama will have to move right and realign his priorities. I hope moderates are not tea partiers who speak softly and don't scare people off.

Oct. 18 2010 10:21 AM
antonio from park slope

I think the problem is anything that is not backed by a free market kind of approach is utterly opposed. Also the center right kind of owns "that can do, pull yourself up by your bootstraps..."

Oct. 18 2010 10:20 AM
NYCarl from East Village

Can you please play some of the thousands of possibly treasonous statements made by the right?

Example: Rush Limbaugh: "I want Obama to fail, yes I do"

Oct. 18 2010 10:20 AM

Right from the start, Obama deserted his base in the Health Care debate. He failed to be the cheerleader we needed to deliver AFFORDABLE health care. Instead we got the same old expensive system compared to the rest of the world.

Many Americans lost interest in Obama's effectiveness after that.

Oct. 18 2010 10:20 AM
Phil Henshaw from way uptown

Gee, I voted for Obama,... but I was expecting someone much more foolhardy and contemptuous, you know, someone adopting the most outrageous if impractical ideas for running the world they could find. I really miss that in George Bush, and the past 40 years of Republican cowboy economic concepts like "starve the beast" referring to government regulation and "feed the beast" revering to our ravenous need for the "economic stability" of consuming ever more or the earth.

Oct. 18 2010 10:19 AM

obama had no partner on the right. when he reached his hand out no one reached back.

Oct. 18 2010 10:19 AM

HJS's statement is flagrantly wrong. What are people who believe in effective, lean government AND social liberalism to do? People who want gay marriage, religious freedom, and small government have nowhere to go, especially now that the TEA party has moved beyond taxes to homophobia and Islamophobia in the form of the Republican candidates for New York State governor.

Oct. 18 2010 10:17 AM
Joclynne in Stamford

This is just the ordinary ebb and flow of politics. The party in power always loses a few seats in the midterms, and Obama has no credible challenger for 2012. Even if congress gets entrenched, Obama has already pushed through more legislation than the previous three presidents combined.

Oct. 18 2010 10:17 AM

Nobody who voted for Obama would vote for a Republican. Republicans are trying to rename their party to the Tea Party in the hopes that no one will notice.

Oct. 18 2010 10:16 AM

In today's poisonous partisan climate -- good luck to moderates. And how exactly was Obama supposed to change this all by himself. If you want to see a betrayal of moderate principals -- look at the Congress and the post-Gingrich world they inhabit. However if moderates don't take a stand -- is that even moderate? -- we will be living in an increasingly divided and hostile America. Follow the money.

Oct. 18 2010 10:16 AM
Steve from NYC

Obama is a centrist, campaigned as a centrist and will always be a centrist. People have projected their own views onto him. A reality check is needed.
He's been quite consistent in his promises and actions:

Oct. 18 2010 10:13 AM
Ken from Little Neck

The problem with bipartisanship is that you need both parties to participate. Obama has shown time and again in his time in office that he would try to work with republicans. The republicans have gone out of their way to reject everything he's suggested, even to the point of shooting down ideas that were theirs to begin with!

Oct. 18 2010 10:13 AM
The Truth from Becky

Betrayed? -a strong ignornant word not applicable to politics!

Oct. 18 2010 10:09 AM
Brendan from East Village

Brian, you attempted to contrasted clips from 2008 and today, but there's no difference. When Obama states that it would be a mistake to go back to the mindset that caused the current problems, he's not only being consistent with his campaign message, he also is stating what independents have known as well, then and today. That is the one issue that still represents his phrase, "United" States of America. Misinformation about the causes of the today's economic reality is the what's divisive.

Oct. 18 2010 10:06 AM
Yosif (like Joseph with a "y" Brian) from Manhattan

Obama would have been politically smart if he took a page from Karl Rove - cater to your base!

Oct. 18 2010 10:02 AM

independents AKA people who just don't care

Oct. 18 2010 10:01 AM

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