05 November 2010

Presidential Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin Gives Obama Post Election Advice

Check out some interesting stories from history how other Presidents handled severe political loss and rose up to do better.

From Denny: Only Colbert could get a serious presidential historian to give an opinion opening statement about what this midterm election means, "What I think the voters have said is 'A plague on both your houses.'"

The reality is that this new wave of Republicans who were elected in this election were not placed in office because America wants a conservative agenda - so mandate there like their fantasy talking heads try to sell. They were voted in because "Americans are pissed off at the Democrats because they didn't get the change Democrats promised." (Goodwin) So, the voters took the Dems to the woodshed and gave them a beatdown.

She quotes comic Robin Williams, "Politicians are a lot like a baby's diapers. You have to change them a lot - and for the same reason."

Goodwin also discusses how the Tea Party can tear apart the Republicans by refusing to play ball with them like what happened back in 1912 with Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican. He went on to develop a third party called the Progressives. Teddy was so angry that Taft won over him that he divided the Republican party by creating this third party. The end result was the Republicans became so weak that the Democrats won after that family fight. Will history repeat itself with the Tea Party weakening and tearing apart the current day Republicans? I'm sure my fellow Democrats are sure hoping it will happen.

She related the midterm election from 1946 when the public was angry that Truman was not FDR, their hero, so they swept in a wave of Republicans. That's when Truman decided to be his own man no matter what, earning the nickname "Give 'Em Hell Harry." The public soon turned in his favor because Truman started fighting FOR the American people by protecting and promoting what FDR has already established: workers' rights, protected pensions, the right to unionize against Big Business, forcing Big Banks to be honest - all agendas and rights we take for granted today yet the Republicans still seek to repeal all these decades later.

Goodwin also related a story about President Lincoln, a favorite president of Obama's. He was known for his self-deprecating humor. When someone hurled an insult at him about how two-faced Lincoln was he just smiled at the insult. Lincoln replied as he pointed to his face, "If I had two faces do you think I would be wearing this one right now?"

Maybe Obama needs to turn to humor to help dig his way out of the hole he is in with the voters.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Doris Kearns Goodwin
After the Republican victories in the midterm election, Doris Kearns Goodwin thinks Barack Obama has to figure out how to laugh at himself. (06:58)

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Doris Kearns Goodwin
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*** Photo from AP/Charles Dharapak

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