Why Obama's Stimulus Plan Needs a TV Push

President woos GOP lawmakers, but also need to make his case directly to Americans.


President Barack Obama is being urged to give a prime-time speech to the nation as soon as possible to marshal support for his economic recovery plan. As Republican opposition intensifies, Obama has been focusing on working directly with legislators to cultivate support. He is making the case personally in meetings with Congressional Republicans.

But Democratic strategists increasingly believe that such lobbying won't be enough. "He should go on TV," says a prominent Democrat closely allied with his party's leaders on Capitol Hill,"and say he has taken the counsel of his economic advisers and he is convinced the most important thing is to resume the flow of private credit through the markets—that the goal of his program is to get the private economy up and running." This kind of private-sector argument is needed to counteract the GOP charge that Obama is simply interested in expanding the size and power of government, an impression which is damaging his effectiveness among Republicans and some conservative Democrats in Congress, according to congressional sources.