October 14th, 2009
02:30 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama: Candidate vs. President

President Obama's term in office so far is relatively on message, a Democratic strategist said.
President Obama's term in office so far is relatively on message, a Democratic strategist said.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – During the 2008 presidential campaign, analysts noted that then-Sen. Barack Obama ran a relatively tight ship - complete with a near lock-step message strategy and a loyal political team.

But since Obama has become president, some say his administration is failing to reflect the tight-knit campaign that helped lead the Illinois Democrat to victory.

One reason: Size matters.

That is, the vast size of the federal government, bureaucratic red tape and the scale of his top advisers' egos, according to an influential political observer.

"When you're running the country, it's a whole different ball game," said Stuart Rothenberg of the Rothenberg Political Report. "Not only is the number of people exponentially larger in terms of the number of people involved, but you have bigger personalities; you have egos; you have people of accomplishment who are accustomed to speaking their mind."

A second reason: Frustration.

Several Democratic Party members are frustrated by the president's lack of progress on big issues. Liberal Democrats are frustrated for his not forcefully pushing the government-sponsored public option idea for health care reform.

Activists also are worried about the president's inaction on repealing the military's "don't ask, don't tell' policy, which effectively bars openly gay people from serving in the military.

But a former top Obama campaign aide said gay Americans have every right to be impatient and continue to pressure the president and Congress.

Full Story


Filed under: Democrats • President Obama
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. annie s

    Proud to be a liberal here – and I do admit a bit of disappointment that the President was not more forceful on the public option and hasn't done more for the gay community. But overall, this man is a breath of fresh air to those of us who put humanity above corporations, and I'm willing to give him more time to accomplish some of the more progressive items on his agenda.

    October 14, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  2. J.P.

    Huh, imagine that... actually doing the work is more difficult than just running your mouth. Gee, whodafigured?

    You mean there is a socialist democrat promising all sorts of "free" gubmint goodies they can't deliver without resorting to an Iron Fist?

    How long will it be before the American taxpayer gets the Iron Fisting from Our Fearless Reader, Our Lord and Savior, Saint Obamessiah, peace be upon him?

    Be patient, America... Barry's Iron Fisting will begin next April 15th.

    October 14, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  3. eolufemi

    They definitely abide by the steady as she goes philosophy. They pretty much ignore the extremes, and push forward with their general agenda. To be honest I like this because it allows people to offer their input and influence the process to a certain degree. It's refreshing to have a pragmatic leader with a soft touch.

    October 14, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  4. George

    The only person leaking is Rahm Emanuel.

    The only person opposing the President's agenda is Rahm Emanuel.

    What is sad is how the MSM ignores this.

    October 14, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  5. gt

    if the voters know now what they didnt know back in november it would ...hello pres. mccain...

    October 14, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  6. Think before you speak

    That's because it is far easier to sit on the sidelines and snipe at the players in the game than to actually get on the field and perform. How many Monday morning quarterbacks actually throw an interception? It's a whole lot different when you're playing at game speed.

    October 14, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  7. MS

    Stop making excuses. President Obama is a liar.

    October 14, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  8. normajean

    Our president is an intellegent, hard working young man who is saddled with other peoples mistakes and is trying to please everyone all at the same time. It can't be done all at once but you people keep on yelling. Most of you could not wake up in the morning facing what he does and even get out of bed. You are all mouth and no brain. Give this man a chance. He has already been able to have other nations take a favorable position regarding the U.S which our last president managed to dump, and will, if allowed to do his job, give his followers reason to know that we picked the right man.Amazing how people expect miracles from someone else on something that they couldn't begin to do themselves.

    October 14, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  9. No.....the real reason is......

    that his campaign promises were made just to get elected...he never had an intention to implement them....

    Look how he's disappointing gays....he's still making promises and has done nothing....even Bill Clinton came out for gay marriage, but Obama says NO, NO, NO. How can he say he's an advocate for gay rights????

    October 14, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  10. Is it 2012 yet?

    Not rocket science here, he was SELECTED by the media, ELECTED by the media and now PROTECTED by the media.

    He said what had to be said to get elected (he still governs by polling MORE than any President ever, (every Wednesday they analyize the polling, TRUTH) and when McCain and others said that he can't do this or that and it wil be different if elected, they were all deemed haters, bigots and racists, sorry sheep they were all right.

    The ONLY segment of society that has had job growth since the fraud in chief got selected is the GOVERNMENT, wow, what a shock.

    Never run nothing but his mouth, you get what you follishly voted for.

    October 14, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  11. T

    He is well spoken, and has been promoted WELL PAST his incompetence level. Since he accomplished nothing in the Senate, and thus far nothing as Pres., I suppose we should expect nothing to really come of his last 3 years in office.

    October 14, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  12. Bear

    It's called inexperience. Something all other candidates warned about Barack Obama last year. He took more time vetting his dog than he did planning the healthcare reform or hiring Czars. He is pushing his change to be popular and not making tough decisions because he is waiting for it to be popular. People are dying in wars and on main street from his lack of experience. Don't ask, don't tell is way less important than people not eating, poor healthcare and 2 wars that he hasn't fixed as promised.

    October 14, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  13. Florence

    Mr. President please don’t forget that you were elected by Majority of American People. I know that some of these big corporations gave you a pretty good chunk of money. But don’t forget that we too had to scrape in order to put some money together and send it to you and your campaign. So don’t forget us and don’t sell us too to these big greedy corporations like your predecessor Bush. Go deep into your conscious and see what's the right thing to do. Keep you campaign promises.

    October 14, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  14. kim

    everybody just needs to chill...this man has been in office for 10 months and people expects everything to be done in a blink of an eye...everything Obama does isn't going to be enough...

    October 14, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  15. machtim akannah

    The first course all politicians take is "Tap Dancing 101". Obama passed with flying colors. If he told the truth, his tongue would crack. Twinkly Toes tells the lies du jour to garner votes. He has never stopped being a candidate. His actions are naive at best. His lack of experience shows through every time.

    October 14, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  16. phoenix86

    Obama the candidate was a great teleprompter reader and Axlerod an excellent campaign leader.

    Obama the President is INEPT, NAIVE, ARROGANT and IGNORANT.

    October 14, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  17. Peter s

    How long has Obama been president ? only 9 months and he has done more than Bush did for eight years!!. its kitchen journalist like you! a republican sympathizer who is giving this administration hard time! is it because of soar grapes or what??

    October 14, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  18. Jon Krieger

    The fact is Obama the candidate made all sorts of promises that he knew Obama the president couldn,t or wouldn't even try to fulfill!It's all about just getting elected folks!Please post this cnn!

    October 14, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  19. GI Joe

    My god people, he's trying to clean up an 8 year old mess and 2 wars and a near depression.

    Cut it out, CNN. You aren't helping this country, you're hurting it by ranting and raving on a daily basis.

    Get your air-head bimbos to do something positive, CNN, and make a positive difference. You're just stirring up trouble DAILY

    October 14, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  20. bigTEXoil

    I think President Obama should give the GOP and opponents of his policies the JOHNSON TREATMENT. This worked to get the1957 Civil Rights Act passed inspite of rascist Thurmond meaningless rambling filibustering about his grandmother's biscuits. The GOP are making a point not to cooperate, they don't care about the American people.

    October 14, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  21. johnnie w

    Cnn why do you print this NONSENSE every day, you have become as BAD as FOX, everyday something NEGATIVE about the Presdent, Tell John Klein , why does he Think that he TAKE down the President. There are NO POSITVE headlines about the President on your TICKERS, trying to PLANT DOUBT in the American People, well i got some HUGE NEWS for CNN,the MAJORITY of Americans SUPPORT the NOBLE PEACE PRIZE PRESIDENT Barack Obama. CNN is a lack of PROGESS, with the TRUE FACTS,and President Obamas PUSH for Public Option is Already DONE, and these FRUSTRASTED Liberals ,What 3,and President Obama will Take care of DONT Ask DONT TELL, what did bush do about that (NOTHING). Your becoming more SILLY everyday CNN. WAKE UP or can YOUR network do that?

    October 14, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  22. Jessie

    That's it CNN, create an entire crisis on the gossip of a handful of low level staffers. The man can't be flustered and it just ticks you guys off.

    October 14, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  23. S M R

    No President in History had to face so many DEEP PROBLEMS on ALL fronts. 2 Wars, Wallstreet, Banking system, Housing Crisis, Auto Industry, Unemployment and having to deal with the very Party that CREATED THIS MESS. Thank GOD You were the one elected in November.THANK YOU again Mr. President for making OUR FUTURE SO BRIGHT!!!

    October 14, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  24. Enough

    Obama has been a huge disaster to date. He is not qualifed for the job and continues to use his standard "I inherited it" excuse. Where else could you take a job and continue to make excuses instead of doing what you were hired to do? It is all too obvious he is in way over his head. He is more comfortable campaigning than governing.

    October 14, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  25. RNC = DNC = politics as usual

    "lack of progress"? Yeah I am frustrated by that too. But I think CNN is really soft peddling this.

    It is not just some management issue. He has actually changed his story and broken campaign promises. That is not due to frustration ro lack of a tight ship.

    So Bush didn't wreck the economy, he just had some monetary management issues.

    October 14, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
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