If what Barack Obama contended in London, England on Saturday was obviously true, I suspect that the establishment press would be broadly proclaiming it and looking back at the President's wonderful work.
What Obama is claiming — that his presidency is responsible for "saving the world economy from a Great Depression" — is nonsense, but he's clearly beginning to lobby for it to become the historical narrative. This may explain why the Associated Press, while running a story on what Obama said, has made it pretty difficult to find. But it will be there for agenda-driven hacks to locate when it becomes time to spin the history. If a Republican or conservative president made such a claim, the fact checkers would already have been out in force.
Transcript, including the verbiage leading up to Obama's economic boast (bolded text is contained in the video):
Q: My name is Elijah, I'm from London. After eight years, what would you say you want your legacy to be?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I mean, I still have a few more months. (Laughter and applause.) Actually, eight months and 52 days -- not that I'm counting. (Laughter.) I just made that up, I actually don't know. (Laughter.) It's roughly something like that.
(Yes, Obama actually said "eight months and 52 days" [at roughly the 30:20 mark of the White House's full video] — as if any month has that many days. For those who are counting it down, it's now eight months and 25 days [rounded] — Ed.)
It's interesting, when you're in the job, you're not thinking on a day-to-day basis about your legacy -- you're thinking about how do I get done what I'm trying to get done right now. And I don't think that I'll have a good sense of my legacy until 10 years from now, and I can look back with some perspective and get a sense of what worked and what didn't.
There are things I'm proud of. The basic principle that in a country as wealthy as the United States, every person should have access to high-quality health care that they can afford -- that's something I'm proud of, I believe in. (Applause.) Saving the world economy from a Great Depression -- that was pretty good. (Laughter and applause.)
The first time I came to London was April of 2009, and the world economy was in a free fall, in part because of the reckless behavior of folks on Wall Street, but in part because of reckless behavior of a lot of financial institutions around the globe. For us to be able to mobilize the world community to take rapid action to stabilize the financial markets, and then in the United States to pass Wall Street reforms that make it much less likely that a crisis like that can happen again, I'm proud of that.
The Associated Press has done a story on the townhall appearance by insufferable Obama sycophant Darlene Superville and Kathleen Hennessey. But it's buried deep inside its "Big Story" site. Though it can be found using AP's clunky search function there, it is not visible on the "Big Story" home page or the expanded versions of each of the home page's major categories.
Searches on "Obama depression" and "Obama world economy" (both not in quotes) at the Associated Press's main national site — the place where all stories deemed to be of national import are supposed to appear, and which is separate from the "Big Story" site — return nothing relevant and nothing at all. It's almost as if AP recognizes how absurd Obama's claim is, and wants to have it for the record so the historical revisionists can find it — but would rather as few people as possible know about it just yet.
Obama's claim is beyond false. In a sane world, people would see it as obvious misdirection from a deliberately damaging 2008-2009 agenda.
The fact of the matter is that he and his party worked mightily to ensure that the economic downturn of 2008 and 2009 would become a full-blown recession, and that it would worsen significantly before and shortly after he took office. At that point, he believed that his Keynesian minions would ride to the rescue with their policies of fiscal stimulus and massive Federal Reserve quantiative easing, save the day, and make progressives the world's economic heroes for the balance of human history. Instead, here we are, seven years into the worst economic recovery since World War II by miles, with a reasonable likelihood that the U.S and world economies are heading into another recession, this time in a far weaker condition to combat it.
As I wrote in February 2009 when it should have been obvious to anyone with eyes what the strategy was (linkd are in originals; bolds are mine):
... there are underlying indications of a nascent recovery. Gas prices have stayed well over 50% lower than they were last summer, keeping an estimated $1 billion a day in consumers' pockets. Record-low mortgage rates have fueled a wave of refinancing around the country, with lower monthly mortgage payments freeing up additional billions of spendable dollars a month.
But it's almost as if President Obama has seen these early signs of improvement and said, "We can't have that."
... (the) country's chief executive and his party ... (are deliberately throwing) cold water on consumer and business confidence.
The leaders of what I have been referring to as "the POR economy" -- Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, and Harry Reid -- began doing this in earnest, both in actions and words, in June of last year. Since the November elections, their downbeat decibel level has done nothing but increase.
... it's reasonable to believe that if the architects of the POR economy and their party hadn't done their confidence-shattering "magic" during the second half of 2008, the economy may very well have recovered.
But the terrible triumvirate of Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, and Harry Reid insisted on starving the economy of energy, and persisted with proposals for jaw-dropping tax increases on the most productive. Finally, their party's decades-long romance with lending mortgage money to unqualified borrowers came to a head at the "worst" possible time -- for the nation, not for them -- with the multibillion-dollar implosions at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, followed by the spread of the wreckage to other financial institutions.
Now the president and his party are rushing a "stimulus" package through Congress and trash-talking the economy on a daily basis in an attempt to hold back a rising tide of public opposition. ...
... The mislabeled "stimulus" will, if it passes, almost certainly extend the conditions we saw during the last half of 2008.
And that's exactly what happened. The economy continued to lose jobs for 12 additional months. The jobs buildup after that has been marred by disproportionate part-time work, weak increases in real wages, and a reversion to labor-force participation rates last seen in the late-1970s. The Keynesian cavalry never came to the rescue.
After setting up the conditions in February 2009 for an extended recession and historically weak recovery in the U.S., the idea Obama went to Europe two months later in April and then began "saving the world" is a sick joke only gullible, economics-ignorant reporters and leftists could possibly believe. Sadly, they're the ones who still primarily control the news and other key institutions, so we'll probably be hearing this crap for years on end — just like we've had to put up with the fiction that Franklin Delano Roosevelt saved the country from the Great Depression in the 1930s. The truth is that he lengthened it by seven years.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.