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Economy Pressures President

Posted by Kara Miller, Culture Club  August 10, 2011 11:00 AM

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While the market whipsaws wildly, the media has decided to lean on Obama.

We saw this push from the New York Times' Tom Friedman, whose column conjured up a scene in which the President corrals Congressional leaders and insists upon a "Grand Bargain."

And we've seen the effort continue today on both right-leaning CNBC and left-leaning MSNBC, especially as the market raced down 400 points, essentially eliminating yesterday's gains.

But perhaps more concerning for the President have been rumblings that unhappiness in his base is building. What started as discontent over a less-than-expected health care reform plan has now morphed into all-out disillusionment, particularly after Obama abandoned controversial reformers like Harvard's Elizabeth Warren, and then accepted a debt-ceiling deal that embraced spending cuts rather than revenue increases.

An article in Britain's Telegraph picks up on this roiling dissatisfaction, as does a piece on the Daily Beast, which notes that: "At a New York political event last week, Republican and Democratic office-holders were all bemoaning President Obama’s handling of the debt-ceiling crisis when someone said, 'Hillary would have been a better president.' 'Every single person nodded, including the Republicans,' reported one observer."

Now that the media - spurred on by the stock market - have picked up on this dissatisfaction, the question is: will Obama buckle?

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About the author

Kara Miller is an Assistant Professor of English, specializing in journalism, at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. She also serves as a guest panelist on WGBH-TV's “Beat the Press” and contributes to 89.7 FM WGBH (NPR). More »

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