The $800 Billion lesson. In a New York Times Magazine article titled “The Education of a President”, Obama reflects:
While proud of his record, Obama has already begun thinking about what went wrong — and what he needs to do to change course for the next two years. He has spent what one aide called “a lot of time talking about Obama 2.0” with his new interim chief of staff, Pete Rouse, and his deputy chief of staff, Jim Messina. During our hour together, Obama told me he had no regrets about the broad direction of his presidency. But he did identify what he called “tactical lessons.” He let himself look too much like “the same old tax-and-spend liberal Democrat.” He realized too late that “there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects” when it comes to public works. Perhaps he should not have proposed tax breaks as part of his stimulus and instead “let the Republicans insist on the tax cuts” so it could be seen as a bipartisan compromise.
Admission 1: Stimulus, as just about everyone knew except for the president it seems, could not possibly live up to its false promises. The smart folks new BEFORE $800 billion was committed that it was the wrong prescription for what ails this country.
Admission 2: President “I won” Obama admits shutting Republicans out of participation.