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Seems like a shellacking but Obama's tax compromise is a winning strategy, says UAB expert

Posted Dec 09 2010 12:00am
Pundits and the press have been hammering U.S. President Barack Obama pretty hard over this week's tax compromise. It's sorta been like a national shellacking, round two, for the president, but there's at least one expert who says the move was a clever political maneuver by Mr. Obama.

Larry Powell, Ph.D., is one of the nation's top 100 communication researchers, according to the Association of Communication Administrators, and he says President Obama's compromise with Republican lawmakers to extend both the Bush-era tax cuts to all income earners as well as unemployment benefits to those still out of work amid the weak economy is the right move because it targets and resonates with a crucial constituency - Independents.

"This move will certainly alienate the president’s base in the short run, but he will be the Democratic candidate for president two years from now no matter what. It is more important for the president to reach out to Independents as those are the voters who will truly decide the White House in 2012," says Powell, who has consulted dozens of campaigns for local, state and national office.

Additionally, Powell believes the compromise delivers to the President two crucial campaign claims for 2012.
"I can already picture two of the ads that will be produced by President Obama's campaign and will start to appear on television just more than a year from now," says Powell, whose primary research focus is political communication.

"One of the ads will praise the president because he fought to extend unemployment benefits in an effort to keep the economy growing, and the other will portray the Republicans as friends of the rich who would rather extended tax cuts to millionaires than help reduce the national deficit and debt."

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