Friday, December 05, 2008

Should Obama Be More Involved NOW?

Are some Democrats growing impatient with President-elect Barack Obama's refusal to inject himself in the major economic crises confronting the country?

I have been hearing more and more of this lately. To be honest I would love to have Obama take over now, but I am not sure if Obama can or should.

Obama has sidestepped some policy questions by saying there is only one president at a time. For some this is not good enough.

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank has been dealing with both the bailout of the financial industry and a proposed rescue of Detroit automakers is reported to have said that President-elect Obama needs to play a more significant role on economic issues. Frank is reported to have said:

"He's going to have to be more assertive than he's been."

Obama has maintained one of the most public images of any president-elect. He has held half a dozen press conferences, where he has entertained question after question about the economy, the mortgage crisis, and the flailing auto industry. Frank though makes the argument that this may not be enough. He was quite serious as he stated that President-elect Obama needs to play a more significant role on economic issues.

"At a time of great crisis with mortgage foreclosures and autos, he says we only have one president at a time."

"I'm afraid that overstates the number of presidents we have. He's got to remedy that situation."

Is Barney Frank is right?

He may be. There is a compelling argument. Yes we don't have two presidents. But do we even have one president now? Currently Bush is doing nothing, but that actually is okay because when Bush does come out and speak the markets plummet. But can we wait for Obama. Is treading water enough? Are we treading, or are we slowly sinking?

Two Democratic senators involved in trying to salvage the auto companies are reported to have said President-elect Obama could help move the process along and should become more engaged in this debate. Senator Chris Dodd is the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee and one of the lead negotiators of the auto industry bailout. He has recently said:
"The Obama team has to step up. In the minds of the people, this is the Obama
administration. I don't think we can wait until January 20."
Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, who obviously is a point man in helping his state's main industry to get this bailout has, called on President-elect Obama to help resolve the dispute over money for the auto loan package. He has said:
"It would be very helpful if the president-elect would become more involved in resolving the issue over the source of the funds. I want him to offer his assistance. He is a person who can really bring people together."
It might be appropriate for Obama to be even more outspoken about what he wants and the direction this nation is going to take with him as president.

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