Arianna Huffington: Deal ‘a real breakdown of the political system,’ ‘terrible moment for Democrats’

As the dust settles after the announcement of last night’s proposed budget agreement, neither side is particularly eager to claim victory. A conservative senator called the deal “disgusting” last night and the left isn’t exactly celebrating either.

On Monday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Huffington Post founder and editor Arianna Huffington expressed her disappointment in the deal and particularly the Obama White House for not having a command of the message.

“I think the White House has to get better at using the bully pulpit,” Huffington said. “Remember, during the ’08 election, we thought Obama was this great communicator and he has not communicated to the American people what is at stake. The Republicans have basically won the big debate that the only way to reduce the debt crisis is through spending cuts. And the big debate that Obama should have thought is to convince the American people we cannot solve the debt crisis without solving the jobs and growth crisis. That was really his argument. He failed even to make it. He surrendered before he even started negotiating and that’s the fundamental problem.

“And also, when he said yes, that the voices of the American people have been heard, I mean you are wondering what voices they are hearing at the White House because it’s certainly not the voices of American people. In poll after poll, you see people care about jobs and they care about growth much more than they care about the deficit.”

Huffington conceded the defeat and said this would be a real problem for the Obama administration in his bid to be reelected.

“I think this is a real breakdown of our political system,” she said. “It’s a very major thing that happened over the weekend. And I would predict right now, an enormous amount of people who voted in ’08 are not going to vote in ‘12. So even politically, this is a terrible moment for Democrats. New voters remember — new voters got Obama elected. He won by 9.5 million votes. He got 10 million of the new voters. I mean, that’s really what’s not going to be happening in ’08.”