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Jay Cost on Obama's Concentration Problem

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4:15 PM, Aug 4, 2010 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
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But Cost's article also raises problems for Republicans. Because the fact is, if Obama had decided to go for the McCain voters in 2009, he could have severed the Republican party and built a solid floor of support even as the economy trembled beneath him. To go after those voters, he probably would have had to embrace a stimulus that relied not on payroll tax credits, but extensions of 2009 tax rates for several  years and cuts in the corporate and payroll rates. To go after the McCain voters, he probably would have had to embrace a smaller health care plan that contained plenty of the best ideas Republicans have to offer while expanding SCHIP and COBRA. He would have had to ignore the climate and immigration stuff and focus instead on boosting American enterprise through policy and rhetoric.

He did none of that, of course, and so we are where we are. But none of this means Obama can't govern from the center beginning in 2011. And are Republicans prepared for that?

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