The Magazine

The Pivot That Wasn’t

Obama can’t move to the center.

Aug 15, 2011, Vol. 16, No. 45 • By FRED BARNES
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We need to pump money into “airport construction projects” and establish an “infrastructure bank” through which the “rebuilding” of the country would be funded. We need Congress to ratify trade pacts with South Korea, Panama, and Colombia, which may sound cost-free but won’t pass unless organized labor’s demand for $1 billion in “trade adjustment assistance” is approved.

Besides, the president said, “growing the economy isn’t just about cutting spending.” And “you can’t close the deficit with just spending cuts.” Obama didn’t neglect to mention “the wealthiest Americans” who must be required to “pay their fair share” in taxes.

A Republican congressman who’s dealt frequently with Obama is certain the president is staying put. He’ll rely on class warfare rhetoric, building his base, demonizing his Republican opponent, and picking off as many independents as he can. He’ll talk obsessively about raising taxes on the wealthy. Move to the center? Never.

Based on what we’ve seen from Obama since the 2010 election, there’s every reason to believe the congressman is right.

Fred Barnes is executive editor of The Weekly Standard.

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