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After election, political image repair must begin


November 2, 2010

Today's midterm elections are the battle, but to address America’s problems, both sides must repair their tattered public images and come together, Time.com columnist Mark Halperin writes. President Barack Obama has lost ground all year, and Republicans will grab dozens of seats despite, not because of, their standing with the electorate. Halperin proffered tips on how both sides can best present themselves:
 
President Obama needs to show that bringing back American jobs will be his No. 1 aim in 2011. He should articulate specific ideas for deficit reduction, and show respect for Republican leaders, Democratic leaders who have let him down, and business people. Obama needs to express a good-natured sense of humor about the election results and mean it, Halperin says. Whatever the demands of the president’s schedule, he must “make time for clear, compassionate and consistent communication with the American people — without giving off an air of irritability or the impression that he has better things to do.”

For their part, Republicans must take some risks and show leadership on spending cuts, prove they respect the president’s role as leader of the country, and work with him, Halperin says. To repair their image, Republicans should detail specific policies to help working- and middle-class Americans, and make sure their party is not defined by the most inexperienced new GOP members of Congress. — Greg Beaubien



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