Why Change Won't Sell

Obama's actions averted a depression. So how come they get no respect?

Illustration by Oliver Munday for TIME

Two weeks into his presidency, Barack Obama was already losing control of his narrative. Before he took office, the public supported his economic recovery plan, 64% to 19%; now the public opposed it, 52% to 38%. Republicans who embraced stimulus under President Bush were shredding Obama's stimulus as socialism. Somehow, they had steered the debate toward sod on the Mall, condoms and other spending Obama had stripped from the stimulus, plus Mob museums, levitating trains to Disneyland and other nonsense that was never in the bill. The new President had a reputation as a great communicator, but he was clearly failing...

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