January 25th, 2009
05:05 PM ET
7 years ago

Obama looks to cash in some political capital

President Barack Obama is trying to get Republicans on board his plan to stimulate the economy.

President Barack Obama is trying to get Republicans on board his plan to stimulate the economy.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama, who arguably won a large chunk of political capital in the 2008 election, is now looking to cash in as he urges Congress to pass a massive economic stimulus package.

But questions about how to spend the money and concerns about the last stimulus package under former President Bush, may create a roadblock.

It's something the newly minted president is hoping to avoid. But like most things in Washington, cooperation doesn't come easy.

And that may be why Obama painted an extremely grim portrait of the nation's economy on Saturday - just hours before he met with his economic team, and days before he meets with Republicans leaders on Capitol Hill.

"We begin this year and this administration in the midst of an unprecedented crisis that calls for unprecedented action," he said in his weekly radio and Internet address. "Just this week, we saw more people file for unemployment than at any time in the last 26 years, and experts agree that if nothing is done, the unemployment rate could reach double digits."

Obama pleaded for quick action, warning, "a bad situation could become dramatically worse." Watch Obama's weekly address

The president urged congressional members to quickly pass an $825 billion economic stimulus package, which he hopes will create up to 4 million jobs over the next two years.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Congress
soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. EC

    It's time for Republicans and Right Wing nut-ohs to STOP whinning about taxes when they've had EIGHT LONG YEARS to make something of this country, instead they ran this country into the toilets.

    I'm amazed that the Republicans NOW claim they want t be a party of the "process", be a team player, BUT what did they DO the last eight years? Nadda, nothing, zippo.

    President Obama's stimulus plan is NOT THE CURE ALL. Republicans are chicken as sh_t of being held accountable for anything, so they continue to do nothing but complain about not being included, yadda, yadda, yadda.

    The way I see it, you had the BALL the last 8 years AND the star player Bush was your captain. So PLEASE stop with the BS and let President Obama do his JOB!!! I mean right now..... ANYTHING is better than what we've had the last eight years.... and right now we can only go UP after being DOWN for eight years.

    PRESIDENT OBAMA, you do your thing. YOU do WHATEVER you have to to get this ball rolling up the hill!!! Let all the naysayer and the Obama "haters" eat crow, if that's all they do is complain.

    DO WHATEVER IT TAKES MR. PRESIDENT, WE SUPPORT YOU 150%!!

    DO WHATEVER IT TAKES MR. PRESIDENT. WE SUPPORT YOU 150%!!

    DO WHATEVER IT TAKES MR. PRESIDENT, WE SUPPORT YOU 150%!!

    January 25, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  2. Bob

    The reson the economy is crashed is because people who couldn't pay for houses bought houses, thinking that the value would rise. The value didn't. I remember a time when banks would not loan money to them. That all changed with Clintons' "fare housing act" which forced banks to give them money, triggering a very temporary buying spree. Leving poor people with houses that aren't worth what thay paid and foreclosures. Remember, anything a president does to the economy doesn't happen for eight years after he leaves. Thanks Clinton

    January 25, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  3. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    To a majority of citizens, the financial bailout and economic "stimulus" program are bogus solutions whgich will not cure real problems. We should be as wary of trying to quickly spend our way out of systemic problems as we were imprudent allowing them to occur. I expect that The One's political capital will evaporate quickly if he spends it on these expert-recommended cures.

    January 25, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  4. katiec

    All the politicians have to do is realize that the American people v oted for change and no more politics as usual.
    Our presidents approval ratings support him and his policies.
    We must have unification to save our country.
    Quit the showboating and do what is right for our country.

    January 25, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  5. Pat Canada

    "I think a lot of Republicans will vote no, because they see this as a lot of wasteful Washington spending, padding the bureaucracy and doing nothing to help create jobs and preserve jobs," Boehner said on NBC Sunday. A Republican using the word Wasteful !

    Republicans making such statements really make me smile! Has Boehner forgotten already which Party did the spending and padding on the last Bail Out? Which party gave CEO's mil bonuses and office renos? Which Party refused emphatically to agree to safeguards and accountability on the last bailout pkg? These Republicans have no shame and apparently a serious case of memory loss!

    January 25, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  6. Stephen, Missouri

    I am tired of he self-rightious Repubs that spent this economy to deficit to give tax breaks for the poor and now they want to pretend to be worried about deficits.

    If Repubs can't come up with a better idea on the issues of the day, they need to move out of the way. Obama will succeed...just watch.

    January 25, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  7. Jary

    This stimulus package I see being proposed has some good parts to it, but there is so much being wasted. The way I see it both sides have it completely wrong! We don't need more tax cuts, especially when we're going to spend over a TRILLION dollars. The first step is to identify the problem. Only after we ID the problem can we come up with a solution that rectifies the problem. I think most Americans would ID the problem as being in four major areas; Housing,energy, transportation and health care. This money Congress has proposed spending should be spent in these four areas! You'd think it's simple but instead we're spending 500 Million dollars on STD prevention and sodding the National Mall!

    January 25, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  8. Bob

    The reason the economy tanked is because people who couldn't afford houses bought them, thinking that the value would rise, it actually fell. I remember a time that banks would not give them loans. That all changed with Clintons' "Fare Housing Act" which forced the banks to give them loans. Causing a very temporary buying spree. When prices fell and gas prices rose, people were left with houses that people couldnt afford or sell... FORECLOSURE. Remember anything a president does for the economy doesn't effect anything long term for at least eight years after he leaves. Thanks Clinton

    January 25, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  9. Mike

    His "tax relief" proposal is no such thing. When you give refundable tax credits to people who don't pay taxes in the first place it is welfare. What happened to integrity and complete transparency?

    January 25, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  10. The Truth

    Obumbler just keeps lowering the bar so that his failures won't seem so obvious.

    January 25, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  11. Charlie in Maine

    If the Republicans want to help I say the more the merrier. If they perfer the role of speed-bump as the Obama Express comes down the highway that is fine with me too as long as we get there.

    January 25, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  12. Brandon

    Comments close too quickly on this page...

    republicons have a role to play. They can don some sackcloth and beg that we forgive them for ruining the nation. if they think they should havea big say in how to fix things they should have had that say when they ran all three branches of government. Now they are only left with the reactionary right wing court system.

    So their role? Offer an idea if one comes up in their entire caucus. haven't heard a new one from them since 1964 with the Goldwater campaign. Even then they were just digging up corpses from the 19th century. other than that, sit quietly and watch how responsible people run our government.

    January 25, 2009 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  13. The Rector

    Winning 33 percent of the potential electorate is not a mandate, it is yet another example of how disenfranchised the American people really are. Without substantial changes in the way elections are conducted and candidates are selected, this will only lead to further dissatisfaction and the continued concentration of power and wealth in the land of the free. The people dont want to bail out wall st billionairs, or detroit fat cats anymore than they want to kill people in gaza or iraq, yet that is how their money is spent, by bush and obama. The system will not change itself, and noone inside wants to change it, so what do you expect a third of the population to do other than stay at home and not waste their time.

    January 25, 2009 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  14. jesuino leduino rosa

    He can use up all of it. There isalot more from all it came from.

    January 25, 2009 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  15. Chipster

    Aftrer 8 years of disastrous economic policies, suddenly Republicans know exactly what President Obama should do! Rep. John Boehner, you and the rest of the GOP have been fiddling while the economy went up in smoke. At least give President Obama a chance to correct the mess before you attempt Monday morning quarterbacking. We already know that your ideas failed. You have no credibility.

    January 25, 2009 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  16. Will Tillman

    Talking about a BULL in A CHINA SHOP we sure got one...

    January 25, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  17. Lynn Puckett

    Someone should do a follow up article on how Greenpoint mortgage lenders ( and others) are still managing to forclose onhouses, yet they are no longer in existance. I am in foreclosure and had an offer last week, to do a short sale. However, my Realtor quit claiming that she could not reach andyone at Greenpoint. She only got a recording,stating that they were no longer in existance. I recieved a notice from Countrywide, who is in title but not foreclosing. Yet the foreclosure is still taking place! I still can't obtain their signature to stop any foreclosure. This house in in Colorado, where the snow and cold will bursts pipes if houses are left unattened. Through no fault of mine, I am unemployed and unable to even put a renter in the house to protect the house and pay utilities. Please tell me how any lender, who is not in existence can still foreclose on property? Legally they can not. And legally, someone must be held accountible to sign off and even accept a deed in lieu inorder to preserve the house's integrity. I am 59 years old displaced grandmother, and up until last year was not late with any payments. I beleive in my country,but where is the person who will protect the homeowner? Forget about bailing out the lenders, lets help the houses and the homeowners. I would gladly let a nonprofit move in and provide shelter to anyone, if they could protect the house.

    January 25, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  18. stay on it

    get to work and don't let the bastards get you down

    January 25, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  19. Richard Larson

    The "I WON" comment made by the President should be further reinforced by a rewriting of this Stimulus Package that holds off on all Tax Reform. This package must have a portion greater than 60% going to infra structure. Just ask the Governors and Mayors where to spend it and let them get busy using it to get things done, at the local level, where the jobs creation will be the most immediate and long lasting.

    I know it will sound like caving in to say to forget about questions of "Pork" or "Favoritism"; That can come later when the economic picture is more stable.

    I'm certain that no person who has just lost a job is going to applaud tax relief! That is the last thing they are worried about now! They want to work and most will be more interested in having a steady income than getting a tax return this year. Tax relief can come in 2010 or even later!

    January 25, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  20. Rick

    Lookie lookie, Obama wants to thro whis weight around, well I guess what will happen next is more TAXES..........In Iowa the DEMON-CRATIC party is already looking at raising the gas tax to increase our TAXES so what will Obama's DEMON-CRATIC party do next to save, oh make us slaves to the government......

    January 25, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  21. Tim

    A 3%-4% win gives him "a large chunk" of political capital only at CNN and the rest of the MSM.

    January 25, 2009 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  22. RazorWilly

    Mr. O please move to the health Care and SS systems next. You will get the 825B. The Repub's are acting as though they have a problem with the plan... Whatever... The Repub are the people who got us into this mess. They better back the package. Or they will lose many more seat in the next elections. You have signed off on a few bills in the last couple days... keep going the Repubs have completely trashed this goverment. Ronald R. said gov't is the problem... what a silly little pea brain. The Repub party is now voting and funding the gov't to nationalize the banks... They whole business concept has trashed this country... It's a joke the Repub have push us to Socialism.. I JUST LOVE IT !!

    January 25, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  23. cnnnewser

    Get 'er done!

    January 25, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  24. V. Marie

    Why is it that President Obama, as well as the media, keep trying to prop up the Republicans when it is they who almost completely destroyed this country? We care about their views on the stimulus package because, why? Why not take as many views from all or any of the third parties, if a debate is going to be encouraged on this. Personally, the Republicans views on the economy have proven to be the worst and to follow anything they have to say is plain insane. They have no good ideas. Make them prove themselves again in the years to come. Make them prove they will not destroy our country again. Stop propping up the greedy partisans. The American people should be contacting their representatives if the Republicans try to block any of President Obama's efforts. Yes we can, but, will we?

    January 25, 2009 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  25. German,Irish American

    Maybe Obama should tell us what he is going to do with the 350 billion that Bush asked to be released to him before we give him another 825 billion, or more, to spend as Obama sees fit.

    January 25, 2009 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
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