Annotating Obama's WaPo Op-Ed

Ethel C. Fenig
The Washington Post published an exclusive op-ed Sunday, "Rebuilding Something Better," by Barack Obama, identified modestly at the end, "The writer is president of the United States."  What he wants to rebuild better is all of the United States. 

As is Obama's tradition he opened by blaming the current situation on his predecessor and then continued glowingly describing all he has done to correct the sorry situation he inherited.

Nearly six months ago, my administration took office amid the most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression. At the time, we were losing, on average, 700,000 jobs a month. And many feared that our financial system was on the verge of collapse.      

As there was no op-ed balancing it--that might affect Washington Post access to exclusive White House personnel with their exclusive op-eds and other exclusive leaks--Stephen  Spruiell provided  a corrective annotation at National Review Online's The Corner.  

Taking apart Obama's  opening paragraph Spruiell protests  

Wait a minute. At a press conference a few weeks ago, when confronted with the disparity between his administration's projected unemployment figures under the stimulus (8 percent) and the real unemployment figures (9.7 percent), Obama said, "Keep in mind the stimulus package was the first thing we did... If you recall, it was only significantly later that we suddenly get a report that the economy had tanked."

So Obama took office amid the most severe downturn since the Great Depression, at a time when the country was hemorrhaging jobs and the financial system was on the brink of collapse. He said as much a week before signing the stimulus into law. But don't blame him for overselling the impact the stimulus would have - his administration was totally blindsided by a sudden report that the economy had tanked!

Point by point, Spruiell carefully and factually picks apart the president's grandiose arguments concluding

 I suppose we should be glad that, by urging patience with the stimulus and trying to change the subject to education, the president appears to be taking the idea of a second stimulus off the table, at least for now. But that would concede too much ground. We should not allow Obama to take credit pre-emptively for any future recovery when there is such a strong case to be made that his policies created a level of uncertainty that prevented the recovery from starting sooner.

Thank you Mr. Spruiell for unobfuscating it. 


The Washington Post published an exclusive op-ed Sunday, "Rebuilding Something Better," by Barack Obama, identified modestly at the end, "The writer is president of the United States."  What he wants to rebuild better is all of the United States. 

As is Obama's tradition he opened by blaming the current situation on his predecessor and then continued glowingly describing all he has done to correct the sorry situation he inherited.

Nearly six months ago, my administration took office amid the most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression. At the time, we were losing, on average, 700,000 jobs a month. And many feared that our financial system was on the verge of collapse.      

As there was no op-ed balancing it--that might affect Washington Post access to exclusive White House personnel with their exclusive op-eds and other exclusive leaks--Stephen  Spruiell provided  a corrective annotation at National Review Online's The Corner.  

Taking apart Obama's  opening paragraph Spruiell protests  

Wait a minute. At a press conference a few weeks ago, when confronted with the disparity between his administration's projected unemployment figures under the stimulus (8 percent) and the real unemployment figures (9.7 percent), Obama said, "Keep in mind the stimulus package was the first thing we did... If you recall, it was only significantly later that we suddenly get a report that the economy had tanked."

So Obama took office amid the most severe downturn since the Great Depression, at a time when the country was hemorrhaging jobs and the financial system was on the brink of collapse. He said as much a week before signing the stimulus into law. But don't blame him for overselling the impact the stimulus would have - his administration was totally blindsided by a sudden report that the economy had tanked!

Point by point, Spruiell carefully and factually picks apart the president's grandiose arguments concluding

 I suppose we should be glad that, by urging patience with the stimulus and trying to change the subject to education, the president appears to be taking the idea of a second stimulus off the table, at least for now. But that would concede too much ground. We should not allow Obama to take credit pre-emptively for any future recovery when there is such a strong case to be made that his policies created a level of uncertainty that prevented the recovery from starting sooner.

Thank you Mr. Spruiell for unobfuscating it.