The El Show Episode 19: Eleven Steps for an Obama Turn Around


The Obama presidency is in trouble. Between the Massachusetts election, the Supreme Court decision and other foibles, last week was a terrible time for U.S. government. On the eve of the State of the Union address, Richard and I held a clinic with eleven steps for Obama to turn it around. Here’s a short summary of our suggestions (not in order):

1) Everyone is after Obama. He needs to stop people pleasing, and take some positions.

2) Obama needs to get Democratic leadership on his side. Pressure Reid to depart, get someone like Webb to take the GOP senate lead. He has to get Pelosi in line.

3) He needs to make health care happen. Force it through.

4) End the era of bipartisanship, and go on the offensive. Create a grassroots effort to make things happen. Take shots at the GOP leadership, and own the middle path.

5) Ask for a movement to remove all incumbents that are standing in the way. Naysayers are corporate tied, show the special interests. Supreme Court.

6) Own the balance budget (freeze discretionary spending, for example), take it from the GOP and make it his issue. Start doing it, raise taxes (Robin Hood). Consider trust busting, amendments, monopoly approaches towards big businesses, acting in collusion through special interests. Add trust busting to legal agenda, revise laws.

7) End one of the wars. Summer is beginning of Iraq pull-out, by end federal fiscal year 2011 (September), and make it full pull out. It’s the Hurt Locker analogy.

8) Get rid of Rahm Emanuel, and get your house in order. He’s not helping, doesn’t take direction, and he’s giving poor guidance. Make him a fall guy.

9) Stop overexposure on TV. TV shows are great, but it’s time to get work done.

10) Focus on the education system. Education is everything, it’s our future, a real halo effect that everyone can stand behind.

11) Take ownership of foreign affairs, stop giving so much credit to Hillary Clinton. But learn from her.

Download or listen to the El Show Episode 19 today! Also available on iTunes!



  • Geoff,

    An interesting list, some of which is very well on target.

    On number 2, you might be interested to know that Nevada is likely to do it for him, assuming whomever emerges from the primary to face Reid doesn’t blow it. So far, I’m unconvinced of whom that might be. But there is no denying that only about 30 percent of his own state supports Reid.

    On number 3, he let other people put forth the wrong plan. Given this was a hot button issue for him, he should have written the plan and then had the house or senate adopt it when he had the numbers. However, he didn’t because he was too afraid his plan would be defeated.

    That is what seems to be watering down his potential for fire. Fear. He speaks it. He believes it. And it’s the last thing you want leadership focused on.


  • In other words, he needs to exert leadership and take ownership. I think you’ve summed this up well. Especially love #2, #8, and–of course–#10. If we don’t fix the education system, the U.S. is doomed to mediocrity.

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