Jane Hamsher: Obama in ‘Trouble Across the Board’ with Liberals

By Alex Pepper

Aug 11, 2010 3:00pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: With White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs lashing out at President Obama’s liberal critics, a card-carrying member of Gibbs’ “professional left” joined us on ABC/Washington Post’s “Top Line” today. (Yes, she actually brought a card – a digital version.)


Jane Hamsher, the founder of the liberal blog Firedoglake.com, told us that Gibbs’ swipe reflects a White House that’s taken the left for granted – inattention that she said could hurt Democratic candidates in 2010 and beyond.


“It went over like a lead balloon — particularly in August when all the members of Congress are back in their home states, campaigning, trying to whip up enthusiasm,” Hamsher told us. “We’re seeing tremendous demoralization amongst the sort of Democratic base….

“Having the White House and [Gibbs] basically call the progressives a big bunch of babies who need to grow up, you know, when their concerns are very valid, probably wasn’t the sharpest political move,” she added.


Obama has governed differently than he campaigned, Hamsher said.


“His record was really as a fairly corporate-friendly centrist. I think that he ran a populist campaign because that’s what you do. But you know, being in office, he just sort of assumed that these people would stick with him, but he’s having trouble across the board by not delivering for his constituents.


“Amongst Hispanics his numbers have dropped 19 points, according to Gallup, since the first of the year, and all of the op-ed pages of the Hispanic papers are very anti-Obama these days. He’s having real problems in that particular community. Are they the professional left too? He’s delivered for corporate America, he’s delivered for PhRMA, and Aetna, and Boeing and a bunch of other corporate sponsors, but he hasn’t really delivered the populist, the jobs, the things that Americans wanted.”


As for the impact of the angst on the left:


“What happens to any constituency who feels like they don’t have a reason to turn out? It’s always a problem … in midterm elections that the people who feel like their guy won the last election, they think, oh, I don’t have to do anything anymore, I can stay home. So you’re starting there, but if the people who normally are the ones who get fired up, who vote, who raise money, who do all the work, don’t feel like they’re getting anything for their efforts, then they’re going to stay home, like they did in Connecticut. And there’s nothing that anybody can — there’s no way that you can turn them against a couple of liberal bloggers and hope that that’s going to inspire everybody to the polls.”


Watch the interview with Jane Hamsher HERE.


For our “Post Politics” segment, we checked in with Chris Cillizza, who writes “The Fix” blog for The Washington Post, about Rep. Charles Rangel’s performance on the House floor yesterday, plus the primary day victory for President Obama and setback for Sarah Palin.

Watch the portion of the program with Chris Cillizza HERE.

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