Something unexpected happened along the president’s breezy cruise to re-election. “No drama” Obama is suddenly looking about as calm as Jerry Lewis in a French film, about as brave as Ted Kennedy after an evening drive through Chappaquiddick. Witness Team Obama’s recent panicky behavior.
Obamanomics anxiety. The White House is reeling as its reverse Midas touch to the economy is being exposed. Its own economists acknowledge now that each job created or “saved” by the so-called “stimulus” cost taxpayers a whopping $278,000. This is still fantasyland because there are 1.9 million fewer jobs on record now than on the day the stimulus was signed into law, but nonetheless, the quiet pre-holiday Friday night news dump of an announcement reveals the administration’s worry. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke admitted last month that he’s clueless why America’s economic malaise continues. Tax cheat and Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, who called President Obama’s budget “unsustainable,” wants to abandon ship along with the rest of the “economic dream team” escapees: Lawrence H. Summers, Christina Romer and Austan Goolsbee. Meanwhile, the president, apparently believing no news is good news, has put his fingers in his ears — “La la la, I cannot hear you” — and, at one point, canceled his daily economic briefings.