THE BIG QUESTION for Feb. 10: Obama's Stimulus Pitch

The Big Question is a feature where influential lawmakers, pundits and interest group leaders give their answers to a question that’s driving discussion in news circles around the country.

Some responses are gathered via e-mail, while others are gathered in person via tape recorder.

Today’s Big Question is:
How do you rate Obama’s pitch for the stimulus?

See responses below from Dr. Larry J. Sabato, Sen. Kit Bond, Dean Baker, Dr. Herbert London, William Redpath, Sen. Ben Nelson, Sen. Carl Levin, Sen Mark Pryor, Sen. John Thune, Sen. Robert Casey, Sen. Michael Bennet and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.

See the last Big Question here.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) said:
I thought he did a very good job last night. It was refreshing to hear him talk about -- particularly in terms of his response on the bipartisan issue... Read the full response


Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) said:
I think he's doing a great job against very tough odds. So I'd rate it extremely high.

Response obtained in person at the Capitol via digital recorder.


Sen. Robert Casey (D-Pa.) said:
I think he's done well. He's able to communicate well, I think, at a couple levels: one is at a detailed, substantive level, but also he has a real sense of what people are frustrated by. Even though he's been in the Senate, even though he's sold a book that made money, it wasn't too long ago... Read the full response


Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) said:
Well he's got the bully pulpit, and it's a real advantage to be able to go in front of the American people and I think he's saying all the right things to get public support for it. Obviously, if you get out there and talk about the economy and how bad it is... Read the full response


Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) said:
I think it has been good. This administration is less than a month old and they have inherited a lot of difficult circumstances that they didn't create, and so I think overall, given the fact that it's a new administration, and given the fact that you have a whole new cast of characters... Read the full response


Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said:
I thought it was A. A+.

Response obtained in person at the Capitol via digital recorder.


Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) said:
Well I think he's had to take a careful approach. The last thing you need to do is be extremely partisan. It's not his nature to be that, and he hasn't been... Read the full response


William Redpath, national committee chairman of the Libertarian Party said:
Neither George W. Bush nor Barack Obama have given the American people a lucid and thorough explanation of what the problem is and why massive and immediate government intervention is necessary. With all due respect, I'm not sure the President is the right person to do this... Read the full response


Dr. Herbert London, president of the Hudson Institute said:
First, it should be noted that this expenditure of close to a trillion dollars is not a stimulus, but a pork barrel proposal. Approximate 7 percent can be attributed to economic growth matters... Read the full response


Dr. Larry J. Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, said:
Professor Obama gave a first-rate lecture. President Obama needs to make more of an emotional connection with the audience -- and the audience is the public and Congress, not the press... Read the full response


Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) said:
President Obama called for a strong bipartisan effort on a much-needed economic recovery package.

Instead, President Obama baited us with calls of bipartisanship and once he gained the White House he switched to partisanship... Read the full response


Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, said:
President Obama will be able to make a far more effective pitch for the stimulus if he focuses on the stimulus. It is difficult to understand the reason for pushing out the second round of TARP so quickly... Read the full response