From Best of the Web, quoting from President Obama’s interview with New York Times magazine:

Obama “realized too late that ‘there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects’ when it comes to public works.” And he “acknowledged that the succession of so many costly initiatives, necessary as they may have been, wore on the public”:

“That accumulation of numbers on the TV screen night in and night out in those first six months I think deeply and legitimately troubled people,” he told me. “They started feeling like: Gosh, here we are tightening our belts, we’re cutting out restaurants, we’re cutting out our gym membership, in some cases we’re not buying new clothes for the kids. And here we’ve got these folks in Washington who just seem to be printing money and spending it like nobody’s business.”And it reinforced the narrative that the Republicans wanted to promote anyway, which was Obama is not a different kind of Democrat–he’s the same old tax-and-spend liberal Democrat.”

What is fascinating is what the President thinks counts as “tightening our belts”. Cutting out restaurants? I don’t think he’s counting McDonalds as a restaurant, which represents eating out to the folks. He’s thinking places like Blue Hill New York, where he took the First Lady to dinner on Air Force One. They sure do serve nice food. Here are a few of the entrees:

WHEY FED PIG
GRILLED RADICCHIO, PISTACHIOS AND QUINCE
35
HUDSON VALLEY GUINEA HEN
LIMA BEANS, SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS ANDSMOKED TOMATOES
36
GRASS FED LAMB
SPIGARIELLO BROCCOLI, TURNIP GREENS, CHANTERELLES AND ROASTED POTATOES
36

Nice food, but the folks aren’t eating that fancy.

Then he talks about cutting gym membership. Gimme a break. Only yuppies go to gyms; the rest of us work and play some free sport, if we have time.

He follows up by talking about not buying new clothes for the kids. A lot of kids wear hand-me-downs or thrift store clothes normally. Now they wear that stuff longer.

But this trivia misses the point. People are tightening their belts drastically because they have lost their jobs, lost their houses, gone bankrupt, and can’t find work. That’s somewhat more serious than “Gosh, here we are tightening our belts, we’re cutting out restaurants, we’re cutting out our gym membership, in some cases we’re not buying new clothes for the kids.”

Oh, for the common touch. Great politicians have it; Obama lacks it entirely.

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