December 5th, 2008
11:03 AM ET
10 years ago

Obama appears to move up timetable on economic relief

(CNN) - For those who follow closely the words of President-elect Obama, Friday’s statement on alarming new jobless figures for the month of November sounded just a bit familiar — several lines were drawn directly from the script of his November 22 radio address. What hasn’t changed over the past two weeks: the infrastructure funding at the heart of his stimulus plan, and language calling for “immediate action” to address the nation’s economic woes. What seems to have shifted slightly in the new statement: the emphasis on exactly how immediate the president-elect believes this action should be.

“There are no quick or easy fixes to this crisis, which has been many years in the making, and it’s likely to get worse before it gets better,” Obama said in his November 22 radio address. “But January 20th is our chance to begin anew - with a new direction, new ideas, and new reforms that will create jobs and fuel long-term economic growth.”

But as the Dow continues to tank and jobless numbers continue to climb, the timetable seems to have been pushed up just a bit in Obama’s new statement: gone is the reference to Inauguration Day, still a month-and-a-half away — keeping the president-elect’s agenda framed strictly in the present tense. "There are no quick or easy fixes to this crisis, which has been many years in the making, and it's likely to get worse before it gets better,” he said in his Friday statement. “But now is the time to respond with urgent resolve to put people back to work and get our economy moving again.”

The statement comes one day after the Associated Press reported comments by Democrats, including House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, pressing Obama to take a greater immediate role in dealing with the nation’s financial crisis.

"He's going to have to be more assertive than he's been," Frank told a meeting of consumer advocates, according to the AP. "At a time of great crisis with mortgage foreclosures and autos, he says we only have one president at a time. I'm afraid that overstates the number of presidents we have. He's got to remedy that situation."

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd struck a similar note late last month, telling Connecticut reporters shortly before Thanksgiving that "the Obama team has to step up."

"In the minds of the people, this is the Obama administration. I don't think we can wait until January 20," he said.

Just a few days later, Democratic congressional aides told CNN the Obama administration needed to step up its efforts on the Hill right away if they hoped to have a package ready for the new president to sign immediately after taking office.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. No Hillary = No Obama

    Obama's presidency will be known as a salvage operation.

    December 5, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  2. Teh

    I like the idea of Chelsea Clinton for Senate. Remember her during the Campaign when her mom lost her voice, she still had her own voice. She is gracefully smart and and have a knack for the issues. She surely knows how to replace her mother... just check her campaign iternary during the last election circle.

    December 5, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  3. Peejay

    To Flex, 1:08 pm

    Bush's purpose, right now, is to ram through as many business-friendly, environmentally hostile regulations and ex-ords as possible. Not satisfied with poisoning the political and financial wells, he'll allow mining concerns to poison the actual wells.

    December 5, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  4. obama-mama

    Bush is running around making Christmas party plans and we're all left to burn in his economic hell...I cannot believe there is no law against this. They need to physically go to the White House and throw is behind out.....This is ridiculous. I just think he is waiting for Obama to do something and when it hit the fan it will all be blamed on Obama. Obama don't fall for the oki doke....

    December 5, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  5. Viet Vet

    To the Truth,
    I don't think to may people are expecting that on 1/20/09 President Obama will magically turn Shrub's Mismanagement around. But at least the American people can have hope. Shrub, the commader guy, yes sir! is a moron and has always been a failure. Too bad the dude wasn't voted out (maybe he was) after the first term. Too bad the Supreme Court Voted him in (the first term). That is almost history, and a sad one at that. I am sure that we will right the ship but it will take time. I'm not lookin'for a quick fix, after all it took shrub 8 years to get us where we are now. Yep- -Shrub was the decider.

    December 5, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  6. thomas

    Troubled times call for drastic action. Stop collecting federal income taxes from those households earning less than $60,000/yr. Reports show they are feeling "squeezed" and they can't consume when they are squeezed. Stop foreclosures and provide low interest loans for single family home purchases. Offer tax incentives to businesses which hire additional employees. Invest in new technology to develop ways to reduce the costs of manufacturing, construction, education, transportation, health care, and energy. Expand the social service network to halt the degeneration of society.

    December 5, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  7. well there it is

    Looks like the lowest common denominator is out in force today.

    Obama is not yet president, if Bush resigns, Cheney becomes president. Obama doesn't get his turn until Jan. 20th unless he is appointed to a position where he can get the job earlier if someone resigns. Now if Cheney were to resign, Bush choose him as VP, this were approved, then Bush resigned... but that's probably going to take 46 more days anyway even if that fantasy occurred. Wait for Jan 20th for the bubble to burst, all your dreams will still fade away, why rush the loss of your euphoria by wishing Obama into office earlier than he will be inaugurated.

    And as far as bailouts, why not bail everyone out, get some relief on my mortgage and debts which I've paid on time and in full. Why should I have to suffer for other's indiscretions and poor choices. Darwin was right – survival of the fittest.

    December 5, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  8. Patriot

    A 'regime change' is urgently needed; because the ineffective and incompetent bush will not do the right thing and resign.

    Bush will just twiddle his thumb;
    while Americans drown in New Orleans
    while Americans lose lives, limbs and mental health in Iraq
    while billion$ are wasted in an UNPROVOKED war on INNOCENT Iraqis
    while US economy tanks, etc.

    Bush is the last to know that the US recession is a year old, despite his access to ALL sources of information on the US economy.

    Congress should 'regime change' now; otherwise watch 'helplessly' while things get worse and worse and worse with a lost leader at the helm.

    What has become of America? Karma for sanctioning and destroying the economies of other nations?

    December 5, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  9. Alabama Voter

    To the Truth:
    People are hurting and losing jobs left and right. It does not hurt to have hope. The TRUTH is that with God anything is possible. I pray that you or a member of your family does not lose their job and that you can continue to have your pension or insurance intact. God Bless

    December 5, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  10. The truth

    I was laid off last i felt the pain. But there is a difference between hope and unrealistic

    December 5, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  11. BO is just B.O.

    Bush should resign and let Cheney be President where he would appoint Candeleeza Rice Vice President and promptly resign making Rice President. The first black president and first woman president in one shot totally taking this away from your messiah.

    That would be poetic justice!!!!!!!!!!!!

    How would the ultimate racist Oprah feel about that one?

    December 5, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  12. VPDesign

    Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon....sorry that's not how it works. If Bush resigned then Cheney fills in for the remainder of the term until the president elect is inaugurated. The govenment will not be able to act quick enough for another Bush term stimulus for the consumer before the holidays. We won't see any consumer "stimulus" from Obama if that's the plan, until around late Feb at best. I suggest you plan your spending accordingly. Thankfully, I have a technical job and although I am out 800.00 due to corporate closure (non-paid) over the holidays, I will still have a job come Jan. I had to ask my bank for an extension on my car payments and am looking to refinance my mortgage (in good standing) to save money. Everyone that wants help needs to first help themselves by reducing spending where possible.

    December 5, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
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