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Hail to the Chief: Spinning Obama's Presidency

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Hail to the Chief: Spinning Obama's Presidency - by Stephen Lendman

As if on cue, major media reports hailed "the Comeback Kid." In Obama's December 22 press conference, Reuters' Caren Bohan asked:

"You racked up a lot of wins in the last few weeks that a lot of people thought would be difficult to come by. Are you ready to call yourself the 'comeback kid?' "

CBS News anchor Katie Couric gushed about how "the president isn't calling himself the 'comeback kid,' but some other folks are."

From ABC News came Jake Tapper offering "congratulations," and George Stephanopoulos saying:

"The president takes a victory lap. How the Christmas season became what he called a 'season of progress.' Will it continue in the new year?"

New York Times writer Michael Shear added:

"But Mr. Obama rejected an opportunity to gloat about the success of the past several weeks by declaring himself the 'comeback kid,' telling a reporter that the results are 'not a victory for me. It's a victory for the American people."

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A chorus of other media reports echoed the same sentiment, including USA Today citing a "political rebound," the Christian Science Monitor praising his notable legislative and other victories, and the Los Angeles Times hailing "image-altering successes."

Even hard-right Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer titled his December 17 article, "The new comeback kid," saying:

"Obama had a bad November," taking a midterm election "shellack(ing)....Now, with his stunning tax deal, (he's) back....His comeback is already a year ahead of Clinton's."

On December 21, Nation magazine writer Ari Berman headlined, "Is Obama Really the New Comeback Kid," saying:

Hold the cheers. "Obama's presidency didn't end after the midterm election and it hasn't been revived during the lame duck session of Congress....Let's hold off, please, from anointing Obama the comeback kid until we know what the full extent of that 'comeback' actually entails." 

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Nonetheless, Christmas came early for Obama, never mind two years delivering lumps of coal for American workers and promises for worse ahead, what media hype won't explain.

Yet some accounts even compared his record to Roosevelt's New Deal and Lyndon Johnson's Great Society. Reality and mythmaking are farcically at odds, including Nation magazine editor Katrina vanden Heuvel headlining her December 23 article, "Action, Hope, 2011," saying:

"Looking forward to 2011, there are many ideas....worth fighting for," listing five worthy ones, but omitting crucial others as well as exposing Obama's dark side, what for two years she's been loathe to do, save for occasional criticisms far less than deserved.

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