Obama s’est isolé des Démocratas pour 2012 !

President Obama isolated from Democrats ahead of 2012

By Mike Allen !

Barack Obama is pictured. | Reuters
Barack Obama has performed his act of contrition; now comes the hard part. | Reuters Close
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President Barack Obama has performed his act of contrition. Now comes the hard part, according to Democrats around the country: reckoning with the simple fact that he’s isolated himself from virtually every group that matters in American politics.

Congressional Democrats consider him distant and blame him for their historic defeat on Tuesday. Democratic state party leaders scoff at what they see as an inattentive and hapless political operation. Democratic lobbyists feel maligned by his holier-than-though take on their profession. His own cabinet – with only a few exceptions – has been marginalized.


His relations with business leaders could hardly be worse. Obama has suggested it’s a PR problem but several Democratic officials said CEOs friendly with the president walk away feeling he’s indifferent at best to their concerns. Add in his icy relations with Republicans, the media and, most importantly, most voters and it’s easy to understand why his own staff leaked word to POLITICO that they want Obama to shake up his staff and change his political approach.

It should be a no-brainer for a humbled Obama to move quickly after Tuesday’s thumping to try to repair these damaged relations, and indeed, in India Sunday, he acknowledged the need for “midcourse corrections.”

But many Democrats privately say they are skeptical that Obama is self-aware enough to make the sort of dramatic changes they feel are needed – in his relations with other Democrats or in his very approach to the job.

In his effort to change Washington, Obama has failed to engage Washington and its institutions and customs, leaving him estranged from the capital’s permanent power structure – right at the moment when Democrats say he must rethink his strategy for cultivating and nurturing relations with key constituencies ahead of 2012.

“This guy swept to power on a wave of adulation, and he learned the wrong lessons from that,” said a Democratic official who deals frequently with the White House. “He’s more of a movement leader than a politician. He needs someone to kick his ass on things large and small, and teach him to be a politician.”

Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) expressed a much deeper frustration to POLITICO: that the president never had House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s back – and it cost both of them. “They not only failed to defend her and her accomplishments on their behalf,” said Miller of the White House, “they failed to defend themselves.”

Tuesday’s losses have left high-level Democrats feeling freer to open up about White House missteps over the past two years – complaints that were repressed when Obama was strong, but now are being aired as clues to his team’s isolation as he tries to regain command of the capital after his midterm thrashing. 

Consider state party leaders. Many feel slighted by a president they helped elect. The slights are both big and small. In July, Obama was visiting GM and Chrysler plans in the Detroit area and invited the local House member – but other Democratic lawmakers who stood to benefit from the exposure were left in the cold.


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