Democrats, Pushing Stimulus, Admit to Regrets on Obama’s 2009 Response

“It’s really about Obama against Bush and Biden against Trump, not the other way around,” said Emanuel. “We have built long lasting, robust economic growth. And I think one comparison with the other is historically incorrect. And more importantly, it is not strategically advantageous. “

David Axelrod, who served as Obama’s chief strategist, said he believed the current criticism arose out of a desire to avoid a medium-term bombardment similar to that of the Democrats in 2010.

“It’s just annoying in the sense that it was a completely different situation,” said Axelrod. “If Obama’s economic record had been flawed, Joe Biden would almost certainly not have encountered it.”

In many ways, maneuvering is a substitute for greater tension within the party. Mr. Obama’s close circle is very dedicated to protecting his political heritage. A growing left wing wants more investment in health care and combating climate change, as well as a break with tough immigration policies. Mr Biden’s government is trying to find its own way.

In a recent address to House Democrats, Mr. Biden argued that it was Mr. Obama’s “humility” that cost the Democrats at the time because the president did not spend enough time explaining the benefits of his stimulus package to the American people.

“Barack was so humble he said he didn’t want to do a ‘winning lap’,” said Mr. Biden. “I kept saying, ‘Tell people what we did. ‘He said,’ We don’t have time, I’m not going to do a winning lap ‘and we ironically paid a price for that humility. “

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