"[H]ow about White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley, outside the same conference [hosted by the Atlantic magazine], responding to a reporter’s question about whether the [Occupy Wall Street] protests were helpful to the White House in furthering its economic agenda:
'I don’t know if it’s helpful.'
Trust me on this one, Bill: It’s helpful. And the fact that the White House chief of staff can’t see that and say it publicly is why Barack Obama finds himself in the political pickle he’s in.
I realize Daley has taken it as his personal challenge to repair relations with the business community. But the first thing to point out is that the business community isn’t Wall Street. More significantly, however, you can’t 'repair' relations with the business community while its members are pushing back against virtually every one of your initiatives and generously financing the Republican opposition. The way to 'repair' your relationship with the business community under such conditions is to provide convincing political evidence that they need to repair their relationship with you.
I’m sure Daley and Geithner are keenly aware that there’s a nasty political war going on out there and that they’re losing. What I suspect they don’t fully understand is that one reason they’re losing it is that people aren’t sure which side they’re on. And the way to let people know which side you’re on is to send clear signals through what you say and what you do."
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Sunday Quote: "Occupy"-ing the Side of the People
Steven Perlstein in today's Kaplan Daily business section: