Friday, July 29, 2011

Is Obama uniquely unqualified to handle the debt ceiling discussions?

If the debt-ceiling discussion had happened with George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, or Gerald Ford; any of those presidents could have used a powerful rhetorical message that would have put pressure on Congress.  He could have said “it is morally wrong to put on nation at risk by voting against the debt ceiling”.  He could have also effectively used other rhetoric like “don’t play chicken” with the economy.

Obama can’t however, because he voted against raising the debt ceiling when he was a Senator.  I am not sure whether any other presidents ever voted against a debt-ceiling increase earlier in their political careers (Nixon and Kennedy were both Senators – not sure if they ever voted on the issue).  It is possible, however, that of all the presidents that have ever served, Obama is the single worst to handle this discussion/debate because of his previous voting record. 

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