Obama said, ‘there are consequences to elections’. Yeah, and look where you got us. Not a very good place if we’re being honest, Obama. We’ll take are chances with Trump.
President Barack Obama famously boasted to Republicans first week in office that ‘elections have consequences’ and the winner gets to set the agenda.
The outgoing president is eating his own words eight years later on the verge of Donald Trump’s tenure in the Oval Office.
‘I don’t want to sugarcoat it. There are consequences to elections,’ he told Rolling Stone a day after the Republican won the presidential election.
Obama said he was ‘disappointed’ but not ‘dismayed,’ and despite his claims throughout the election that Trump wouldn’t win, Obama told Rolling Stone ‘the odds of Donald Trump winning were always around 20 percent.’
‘One out of five is not that unusual. It’s not a miracle.’
The Democratic leader who has been criticized at times for being too cerebral admitted in the interview, this month’s cover story, that his party has a problem reaching white working class voters who put him in office yet gave their votes to Trump.
‘That part of the critique of the Democratic Party is accurate. We spend a lot of time focused on international policy and national policy and less time being on the ground,’ he said. ‘And when we’re on the ground, we do well. This is why I won Iowa.’
He rebuffed a suggestion that Democrats overlooked the economic struggles those voters are facing. ‘The challenge we had is not that we’ve neglected these communities from a policy perspective,’ he said.
The party did a poor job of communicating the benefits of the policies that already exist, Obama insisted.
‘Whatever policy prescriptions that we’ve been proposing don’t reach, are not heard, by the folks in these communities. And what they do hear is Obama or Hillary are trying to take away their guns or they disrespect you,’ he stated.
Democrats must invest resources in social media and recommit to grassroots organizing, Obama assessed, ‘rather than depending on coming up with the right technocratic policies and sharing that with the New York Times editorial board.’
Fox News is another powerful messaging tool for Republicans, he argued. It’s ‘in every bar and restaurant in big chunks of the country.’
Obama said Democrats will continue to lose to Republicans until ‘they can change perceptions about the Democratic Party and progressive causes in these rural or predominantly white areas, particularly in the Midwest.’
He hat-tipped Bernie Sanders and said he agrees with Vermont Senator who challenged Clinton in the primary that Democrats must ‘reinvigorate’ the national party ‘so it’s not seen as a Washington entity.’
Trump painted the Midwest red with the exceptions of Minnesota and Illinois, a state that Obama and Clinton have each called home.