In attempting to harness public anger over the financial crisis on behalf of his budget, President Obama is confronting the politically uncomfortable fact that the success of his long-term agenda and Wall Street's recovery are intertwined.Howie P.S.: I am hoping Geithner's plan for regulating the banking and insurance gamblers has some teeth.
That acknowledgment is reflected in the president's shift in tone from his tempestuous town hall appearances in California last week to Tuesday evening's more sober appraisal of who is responsible for the frozen credit markets, insolvent banks and burst real estate bubble.
Georgetown University historian Michael Kazin said the approach Obama has settled on is the best available: sharing the public's ire, but not inflaming it further, which would not be his style, and instead directing it to his plans.
"It wouldn't be convincing if he came on as a real populist and also probably not necessary," Kazin said. "What he's got to do is depend on his strengths in sort of calmly explaining things to people and telling them, 'I've got this.' "