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Obama plays on voters’ psychological state

Published: Wed, October 27, 2010 @ 12:00 a.m.

Associated Press


According to President Barack Obama, Americans are angry, frustrated, scared, anxious, uncertain, nervous, discouraged and shaken up.

They’re also confused and not thinking clearly.

Heading into critical midterm elections, Obama has been freely sharing this gloomy diagnosis on the campaign trail, at times sounding more like a psychiatrist than a politician. He usually couples it with a reminder that the country’s been through tough times before and is resilient enough to bounce back, and an appeal to voters to “choose hope over fear.”

Obama’s dreary assessment appears to be an attempt to empathize with voters in a time of acute economic anxiety. It also can serve as an explanation about why voters haven’t embraced his agenda — and why they look poised to deliver a drubbing to Democrats on Tuesday.

Americans would be more supportive of his policies, the president suggests, if they weren’t fettered by anxiety he accuses the GOP of stoking. And the descriptions of angst from a president criticized as overly cerebral and aloof also allow him to attempt to show he feels voters’ pain — even if he can’t cure it.

So the president who campaigned on hope and change now sometimes sounds more like he’s diagnosing depression than offering inspiration.

“People out there are still hurting very badly, and they are still scared,” Obama said recently at a Boston fundraiser. “And so part of the reason that our politics seems so tough right now, and facts and science and argument does not seem to be winning the day all the time, is because we’re hard-wired not to always think clearly when we’re scared.”

Obama isn’t the first president to play psychiatrist-in-chief and put the country on the couch.

Jimmy Carter famously declared that a “crisis of confidence” was threatening to destroy the nation. Bill Clinton said, “I feel your pain.” Franklin D. Roosevelt used his “Fireside Chat” radio addresses to speak to voters’ anxieties and try to coax support for his policies during the Great Depression.


1Nunya(1356 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

The AP has become a JOKE,..

This reads as something else from that Allen Keyes wannabe. See the effectiveness of communicating is connecting with current state and it's ALWAYS been that way. It's not any Barack Obama ploy or subliminal tactic.

Where to have something this inane and insane scribbled and published by the AP is a damn joke and it serves as a boon with the loons to manipulate their incredulous incompetence,.. LMAO !!!

In essence the same thing this " mystery writer " is alleging as an Obama " Tactic ". It the same thing this impotent imbecile is trying but just doesn't have the depth, reach, importance nor ability.

Hence this is the very reason print publication media outlet's are so vastly becoming non marketable. Because the greater depth, accuracy and enlightening writers. Are Independent voices that are far better minds, individuals and genuine communicators.

Than the prattled parlors whom perch as " pay for say " propaganda puppets. For which that's not opinion it's irrefutable FACT !!!

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2cbog76(22 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

"Americans would be more supportive of his policies, the president suggests, if they weren’t fettered by anxiety he accuses the GOP of stoking."
Anxiety? Are you kidding me?
How about this Mr. President, we are just tired of all the lies you have been spouting for the last three years. Thanks to your wonderful healthcare my medicare costs are going up enough that I will have to stop going to the doctor altogether because your "experts" have decided that the disabled and elderly are not as important as your wealthy supporters. You, as most politicians, have a very bad habit of only listening to those that can further your political ambitions, no matter the cost to the people of this country who have to live with the consequences of your playing politics.
I will admit that we need a major overhaul of healthcare in this country, but is supplying services to the illegals in this country instead of looking after those who helped build this country really the way to go?

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3walter_sobchak(2672 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

People out there are still hurting very badly, and they are still scared,” Obama said recently at a Boston fundraiser. “And so part of the reason that our politics seems so tough right now, and facts and science and argument does not seem to be winning the day all the time, is because we’re hard-wired not to always think clearly when we’re scared.”

Or, as Mr. Obama should more simply put it, "Mr. & Mrs. America, I'm right, you're wrong and you aren't as smart as me, or else, you would know this."

How's that "hope and change" thing working out for you?

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4300(573 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

While it's not the best political approach, he is right.

We routinely hear people say that they're against government, and then 2 seconds later complain that the state isn't doing enough to create jobs. Think of every inaccurate analogy or nonsensical generality that simpletons when complaining about the state. Example, "Why does the government spend money it doesn't have, they need to behave like my family does." When at the same time, they've got a house mortgage (money they spent, but didn't have), a car note (money they spent, but didn't have), a few might have student loans (money they spent, but didn't have), and credit card debt (money they spent, but didn't have). Not that I'm excusing accountability, just pointing out that people routinely say things they think are true, but are actually completely wrong.

Another example would be those Tea Partiers who openly support some politicians who have publicly said that they would like to get rid of SS. Then at the same rally bitch about how Obama is killing their SS and medicare. That's the crescendo of stupidity.

What Obama needs to realize is that good portion of Americans aren't able to function at a high intellectual level. You can't give complex analyses when you're a mainstream politician, it will only frustrate the voting public.

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5palbubba(802 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Hey springman, you gripe about outsourcing of jobs. Did you know that lap dog Timmy at the bidding of all his Obama buddies sent millions overseas to rich countries to refurbish mosques. Who do you think is going to do that work? Not Americans. How about the 3.8% tax on the sale of your home that they stuck in the Health Care bill. I guess their excuse will be they didn't read it and you will buy into that. How about the bill they are trying to pass to charge you a 1% tax on money you deposit into the bank. I suppose you like that idea along with the 9.5% unemployment, foreclosures at an all time high and on and on. You probably voted for the tax increase for the Youngstown schools also.

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6Nunya(1356 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

@ rudypoot56

You ignorant buffoon,..

Your effort to try to make this a racist topic shows your deplorable disposition. What you stated is as irrelevant as your pathetic existence,.. AND YOU PROVED IT !!!

I stated FACT and you can't dispel it, so you resort to displaying how much more dysfunctional you are than you'd initially shown,.. Teabaggers brilliance !!!

Face it you frazzled fraud you love having me use you as a tutorial for how to distinguish your failed efforts at treachery,.. ROTFFLMAO !!!

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7Nunya(1356 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

@ Wally_Slobshack

You sound less than a paper head and I find you hilarious. Where in a question & answer redress in regard to your inquiry. Where you eeked " How's the Change thing going for you ".

Well myself and other sensible Americans response duly is. That change thing is going as well as could be expected. See we're only 21 months into cleaning up a disaster it took the republicans of your ilk " 8 YEARS " to invoke on the nation.

See that's not partisan politics it's fact and even on sum of time. This president and congress has invoked more support, defense, benefits and opportunities in 21 month's than your republicans did,.. EVER !!!

See the economic revival is taking time but it's working. See because even on that front this president and congress. Has already produced & stimulated more private sector jobs. Than the Bush presidency and republicans control of congress did in their entire reign of lies, deception, theft, torture, fraud, murder and horror in orchestrating national bankruptcy,.. HOWS THAT?

Now for fact filled fun and games while you stew on that you wacky hack. Take a look what I've done to your fellow booty snoot clown boy ole rudypoot,... ROTFFLMAO !!!

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