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Politics and Media Headlines 1/28/09

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Matt Davies

A Mandate for Big Change (Center for American Progress)
Polls show that the public wants President Obama to make big changes, including introducing major new programs, writes Ruy Teixeira.

President Obama Chats About His Meetings (by Jake Tapper and Matt Jaffe at Political Punch, ABC News)
"We had a wonderful exchange of ideas and I continue to be optimistic about our ability to get this recovery package done and people back to work," President Obama said as he left a meeting with House Republicans [Tuesday] afternoon in the Capitol… The president said, "I recognize that we're not going to get a hundred percent support, but I think everybody there felt good about -- that I was willing to explain how we put the package together, how we were thinking about it, and that we continue it welcome some good ideas."

Republicans all a-Twitter over the visit (The Hill)
Audiences usually treat presidents to a round of polite applause, but when President Obama addressed House Republicans on Tuesday, they started Twittering… While Obama implored Republicans behind closed doors to consider supporting his economic stimulus bill, GOP thumbs worked overtime, tapping updates onto the microblogging website for thousands to read… The Republicans commended Obama throughout the meeting, but were quick to note their continued disagreement with the president and the House Democratic leadership after conservative blogs pounced on the friendly rhetoric.

Obama's stimulus pitch falls on deaf Republican ears (McClatchy)
The House of Representatives is expected to approve on Wednesday an $825 billion plan aimed at reviving an economy that's rapidly falling into what may be the worst recession since World War II, but President Barack Obama is likely to fall short of getting the strong bipartisan consensus he wants.

GOP may vote no, but economists back Obama stimulus (McClatchy)
Economists think the stimulus plan that the House of Representatives will vote on Wednesday, while far from perfect, will help stimulate the moribund U.S. economy.

The Time Is Now (by Turkana at The Left Coaster)
Chicago Dyke: “To me, it's completely obvious: no Dem administration is ever going to get more than a handful of Republicans to go along with anything that Dems propose… [I]t's because they better understand the deep strategies and gamesmanship, and how to play the 'fake' of temporary support followed by later opposition..” Think Progress reported [Monday] that Obama was thinking of cutting family planning from the stimulus bill, as a way to appease Republicans. Despite the fact that, you know, he won. And that we don't need Republican votes to pass bills… But despite such an attempt to appease the unappeasable, they remain, shockingly, unappeased.

There will come a time when Obama has to tell the world that he's been making an honest effort, while the Republicans haven't been… As dday puts it: “…Despite a mandate for major new social and economic programs from the public, Obama is still playing small ball. He's responding to Republican hissy fits and teaching them that all they have to do to wring a concession is scream for a day or so and let their media allies whip up a frenzy. He's offering half-measures when they won't do the job.”

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Carolyn Kay
MakeThemAccountable.com

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