Friday, February 20, 2009

"Relief, Not Opposition"

Talking Points Memo airs a view that echoes what I said earlier this week about how Obama has played the bank nationalization situation:

Now that Dodd has publicly mooted the notion, it's probably picked up too much momentum to be stopped. What was politically unfeasible just months ago is now inevitable. By the time the government steps in, it's as likely to be met with as much relief as opposition.

This way, Obama is seen as the guy who saved the banking industry, not the guy who took it over against their objections. TPM also notes the effect of the administration's mild statements on the issue:

Gibbs said, "This administration continues to strongly believe that a privately held banking system is the correct way to go, ensuring that they are regulated sufficiently by this government. That's been our belief for quite some time, and we continue to have that."

I'd be curious what others think. But when I heard this, this struck me as a pretty mild response, given how rapidly people seem to be moving toward the belief that these banks are at their last gasps. It's not completely on point for the question at hand and it refers to preferences not what may actually happen.

My guess for what eventually happens: Obama comes out with a statement that says "we are not nationalizing the banks. We are taking them into receivership. This is different, because once the banks have been restructured they will be returned to the private sector."

Just a guess.

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