Political Notebook

Obama says he failed in pushing case on economy

November 6, 2010

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WASHINGTON — President Obama is acknowledging in the wake of this week’s election that he hasn’t been able to successfully promote his economic-rescue message to anxious Americans.

Obama said in an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes’’ that he “stopped paying attention’’ to the leadership style he displayed during his run for the presidency.

Obama 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 . . . we haven’t always been successful at that,’’ he said. “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 before leaving on a 10-day trip to Asia. It is scheduled to be broadcast in full tomorrow night.

Obama’s Democratic Party lost control of the House in Tuesday’s midterm elections, with Republicans picking up a net gain of at least 60 seats, setting up a more divided government in January. That outcome depends on the extent to which the two parties can reach accommodation on such vexing issues as the economy, energy, immigration, education, and the war in Afghanistan.

— Associated Press

Olbermann is suspended for political contributions
LOS ANGELES — MSNBC host Keith Olbermann was suspended indefinitely without pay for making political donations in violation of NBC News policies.

“I became aware of Keith’s political contributions late last night,’’ Phil Griffin, president of MSNBC, said yesterday in an e-mail.

Olbermann contributed the maximum $2,400 to three Democrats, Politico reported earlier. Two Arizona representatives, Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords, received payments on Oct. 28, the day Grijalva appeared on “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,’’ the website said. Olbermann also donated to Kentucky Senate candidate Jack Conway, who ran unsuccessfully against Republican Rand Paul, Politico said.

The episode highlights the blurring line between private actions and journalistic responsibilities as news networks such as MSNBC and Fox use partisan hosts to try to attract viewers. Some news organizations allow political donations while others ban them.

— Bloomberg News