The incredible emptiness of the Schoen-Caddell "proposal"

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

What's the dumbest thing about the Washington Post's decision to publish an op-ed by Doug Schoen and Pat Caddell urging President Obama not to run for re-election? Is it the fact that it had barely been two weeks since the Post last published a Schoen-Caddell attack on Obama (in which the Post inexplicably allowed them to claim to be "traditional liberal Democrats" as they compared Obama to Nixon)? Or the fact that the Post didn't disclose Schoen's work for Michael Bloomberg, a possible challenger to Obama? Or the Schoen-Caddell pipe dream that "if the president were to demonstrate a clear degree of bipartisanship, it would force the Republicans to meet him halfway" -- a fantasy undermined by the GOP's response to every previous Obama attempt at bipartisanship?

Or is it the Post's publication of a "proposal" for "address[ing] … our national challenges" that is completely without substance? Schoen and Caddell have literally nothing to offer beyond pleading for everyone to get along. They write, for example, that Obama's decision not to run for re-election would magically cause Republicans to work with him, and that this will make "boosting economic growth" possible. But they say nothing, not a word, about what should be done in order to boost economic growth.

Schoen participated in an online Q&A for the Post today, driving home the point that he has absolutely nothing to say. The entire session consisted of vague platitudes:

By announcing he isn't running for reelection, Obama would "bring all voices together in a way that becomes compelling."

"There is a need to take the higher ground."

Obama "needs to govern as a centrist, and work on a non-partisan basis to solve the country's problems."

"The Republicans would be forced to compromise because the country would demand it."

"He would have greater leverage because he would put the country first."

House Democrats "would realize that the best thing they have going right now would be working for what is best for the country"

"Our broader recommendation is to govern as a centrist."

"The only way to move the economy forward is to seize the high ground that we are recommending and act for the best interest of America."

"[W]e need to put politics aside and do what is best for America. The most important point is that we need a game changer in a huge way. We must break the political gridlock and poisonous political environment in America."

"It is necessary during this specific time of unprecedented crisis and division for the President to rise above politics and put the country first."

That's the "proposal": Take the higher ground. Put country first. Govern as a centrist. Do what is best for America.

These utterly meaningless platitudes are all Schoen and Caddell have to offer -- and, for some reason, the Washington Post decided they were worthy of several hundred words of op-ed space and a Q&A.

The Washington Post
Pat Caddell, Doug Schoen
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