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Obama Uses Polls, Focus Groups to Sell Stimulus — Smart?

While Karl Rove and the Bush Administration came under fire for governing in constant-campaign mode, it looks like the shrewd Obama campaign will use some of its tactics to help rule. In hopes of selling a $775 billion stimulus plan to Congress, the Obama team has turned to polling and focus group data. Expect to hear poll-tested language, including "recovery" (not "recession") and "investment" (not "infrastructure"), during Obama's term.

Bloomberg reports that public polling by presidents is nothing new. Bill Clinton polled policy details, while George W. Bush tended to poll the presentation only.

Of course, messaging is an important way to pass legislation (for example it's much easier to push a "rescue" plan than a "bailout"); but, focus group feedback probably shouldn't replace in-depth policy research or be used to manipulate the public. Then again, polls and focus groups might be the best way to listen to what the people want!

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clarabelle98 clarabelle98 8 years
I think the man ought to make his own decisions, rather than doing it this way. See, by doing this he's relieving himself of responsibility. This way, when things fail all he has to say is "I did what the people wanted." I'm not surprised that a man with little to no experience is depending on polls and focus groups though.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
"In response to comment #4, Hainan: She wouldn't have too jump down your throat if the comments you make had any merit and not so many fallacies and distortions. Try to deny it all you want, you know it's true." don't know it's true... nothing I said was acting like it was hard evidence. It was my opinion. And she jumped down my throat regarding the fact i said "Obama using Bush tactics ...hmm" It was said in the article... how is that a fallacy or distortion? Actually what did I say that was a fallacy or distortion? Please I beg of you...
silversnowflake silversnowflake 8 years
If only history never repeated itself... Maybe SNL should run the country. Put Seth Myers and Tina Fay in office, let Tracy Morgan and the rest of funny town rule politics. At least then I know I would die laughing. :rotfl: Seriously though, there is only so much worse that this country can get. And people have to be at least a little bit confident that their country won't get as bad as Rawanda, Germany (Hitler times), and so forth.
m0readventur0us m0readventur0us 8 years
no don't stop them from tring just make people awere that pol pot was you uncle thats all i'm saing. lol :)
silversnowflake silversnowflake 8 years
Yeah! In all future elections there should be full family line checks. If you are in any way related to a bad political figure, you can not have any sort of political power. Ever. lol Its not at all likely to happen like that...
m0readventur0us m0readventur0us 8 years
isn't that wild to think these to a-holes are derect family.
silversnowflake silversnowflake 8 years
m0readventur0us, I totally forgot about Pearce.
silversnowflake silversnowflake 8 years
Carter, Nixon, Bush (1 and 2), Clinton (for those who think he was awful), and I feel like I'm missing one... :ponder:
m0readventur0us m0readventur0us 8 years
carter, wilson and franklin pearce. pearce was hated so much that we started the civil war over the taxes and laws he pushed through. you know the funny thing is that franklin pearce is W's greate greate greate grand father. barbra bushes maidin name is pearce, and i'm not making this up at all.! it's kind of scarey to think that family has produce three horible presidents and we keep electing these people, i think a family tree should be made public from now on. lol :) well Bush Sr. wasn't that bad and well he isn't a blood relative so i guess that would make since.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
Carter? Nixon?
silversnowflake silversnowflake 8 years
That 'poor' man... I have to wonder what president was REALLY disliked more?
m0readventur0us m0readventur0us 8 years
no you have to leave a 10% margine for error these number where generated by th Bush white house. lol
silversnowflake silversnowflake 8 years
Nice! :rotfl: Are you sure its just 78% though? The number is higher.
stephley stephley 8 years
I stand corrected m0readventur0us :oops:
m0readventur0us m0readventur0us 8 years
and i think the remain 12% just say they support him because they are hopping to make the pardon list. lol ;p
m0readventur0us m0readventur0us 8 years
see i diss agree. you are not looking at the whole picture stephley. when bush said he was a "uniter not a divider" he was making a promise and he keep it. bush did unite us. you see 78% of us hate him. lol :)
stephley stephley 8 years
If there was any evidence that all Obama had done was take polls to determine what he's going to do, you might have a point Dave. But there isn't. Bush said he was a uniter not a divider, so I'd think by now you'd be used to taglines that disappoint your expectations.
m0readventur0us m0readventur0us 8 years
change is, was and will remain code word for "not George W Bush" and in all reallity his cabnit looks odly like that of Bill Clinton. not that that is or isn't a bad thing but its definitly not change
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
It may be "politics as usual", but it isn't change. I thought he was all about change.
m0readventur0us m0readventur0us 8 years
sure i'm not tring to be argumenitive. i'm just making the point that the "people" seem to rarely know what is best, due mostly to a lack of understanding. but like we said you can't blame him for using poles its just part of the way things get done.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
Then call it research. Taking a poll suggests that you want to do only what the majority of Americans want you to do, and not what is necessarily best for the country.
m0readventur0us m0readventur0us 8 years
Well lets see, $600 in the mail popular: yes effective: no, bailout banks: popular: no effective: no, war on terror popular: yes effective:50%, welfare reform: popular: no, effective: yes farm bill popular: yes effective:no. so what can we derive from all this? that people in opinion poles have no idea what works. so other and all ready working on term number two this is pointless. not that i blame the man for wanting to keep his job. but if i was in his shoes i'm not shure i would even want the first term, the way things are shaping up. lol
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
First of all UnDave The Magnificent, and yes I'm being flippant ;), if you think for one minute that polls have not been used in every Presidency since polls became a popular gauge of opinion than you need to splash some cold water in your face and wake up. President Elect Obama is simply being up front about it from the get go. Also as I stated it is just silly to think that this method is going to be a crutch of sorts rather a simple gauge of opinion. I really think that the questions are going to be a primary gauge of what Americans are experiencing in their daily lives rather than how they think the country should be ran, you are correct that is the job of the President and his team of advisers. IMO they will more likely use first hand information of what problems Joe the esthetician is facing in order to help focus on certain key issues. It's called research, information gathering and any administration that wouldn't do that has got their head too far up their @$$.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
Taking polls isn't a way to lead the country. It's a way to get re-elected. What is the point of having a cabinet if your going to poll the public? I thought we all wanted change, not politics.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
Oh come now this extremist view that President Elect Obama is using this method to solely rely on the opinion of the citizenry to run the country is simply partisan snipping. Please tell me that beyond your bias you have a back up of common sense which realizes that this method is in addition to not a replacement of every other method used to run the country.
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