Obama blames poor communication for elections rout

In CBS interview, US president says he has "stopped paying attention" to leadership style he displayed during his run for the presidency.

November 5, 2010 16:12
2 minute read.
US President Barack Obama

311_Obama says talk to the hand. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

WASHINGTON — In the wake of this week's Midterm elections in the United States, President Barack Obama acknowledged that he has not been able to successfully promote his economic-rescue message to anxious Americans.

In an interview with CBS television, Obama said that he has not blamed his policies for the loss, but rather a lack of communication with the American people. The US president said that he has "stopped paying attention" to the leadership style he displayed during his run for the presidency.

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He also said he recognizes now that "leadership is not just legislation," and that "it's a matter of persuading people. And giving them confidence and bringing them together. And setting a tone. And making an argument that people can understand."

"And I think that," Obama continued, "we haven't always been successful at that." "And I take personal responsibility for that. And it's something that I've got to examine closely as I go forward."

The president recorded the interview, to be broadcast in full on Sunday night, before leaving on a 10-day trip to Asia.

Republicans rode a wave of voter discontent and energy from the ultraconservative tea party movement to easily take control of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, while Democrats narrowly held onto the Senate, scripting an uncertain new era of divided government for the final two years of Obama's term.

Congressional Republicans are already asserting their newfound political strength, vowing to seek a quick $100 billion in federal spending cuts and force repeated votes on repeal of Obama's prized health care overhaul when they take control of the House of Representatives in the new session in January.

Democrats had held sway in both the House and Senate since the 2006 election. The balloting Tuesday put House Republican Leader John Boehner into position to be the next speaker, succeeding Democrat Nancy Pelosi. Rep. Eric Cantor, a Republican, seems set to take position of House majority leader.

The parties will have to work together to make progress on such vexing issues as the economy, energy, immigration, education and the war in Afghanistan.

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