But President Obama is on a journey back to the center that hasn’t been completed yet. For example, he couldn’t resist including the red meat that appeals to his liberal base but is hollow substantively. Example: “I don’t believe … another round of tax breaks for millionaires will … pay down our deficit.” Well, we all know that President Obama’s proposal to increase taxes above $250,000 won’t even scratch the surface of the $16 trillion debt — and President Obama knows it.
I also believe, as I have written before, that President Obama needs to protect and preserve his well-justified positive impression of being a nice guy and avoid depleting this most valuable asset by nasty negative personal attack ads.
In the final analysis, I continue to support President Obama because I support most of his policies and do not believe that Mitt Romney’s answers to almost every problem in the economy — tax cuts — is sensible. But in my opinion, Barack Obama still needs to close the deal with the moderate-independent voter in the center who loves Bill Clinton. Endorsing specifically Simpson-Bowles, in my judgment, is most likely to do so, and would significantly enhance his re-election chances.
Lanny Davis, the principal in the Washington law firm of Lanny J. Davis & Associates, which also specializes in legal crisis management, served as President Clinton’s special counsel from 1996-98 and as a member of President George W. Bush’s Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (2006-07). He currently serves as Special Counsel to Dilworth Paxson. He is the author of the book “Scandal: How ‘Gotcha’ Politics Is Destroying America” and the forthcoming book, “Crisis Tales – Five Rules for Handling Scandal in Business, Politics and Life,” to be published by Simon & Schuster.