March 31st, 2009
10:31 PM ET

Where's Obama’s ‘change’?

Alex Castellanos
CNN Analyst

[cnn-photo-caption image=

Is there a better person than Paul Begala? Not on this planet. Beneath his proud partisan heart and chess-engine brain, there is an unfailingly generous, unswervingly decent human being, whom I am fortunate to call my friend.

And he's from Texas, just like George Bush. What's not to like? That makes it all the more remarkable that Paul is consistently wrong about almost everything political and in desperate need of a reality check.

Paul calls my commentary about the first glimpse of a Barack Obama who could be a one-term president "more full of beans than a burrito at Matt's El Rancho" in Austin, Texas.

Paul, I love burritos, so let's bite into this one, beans and all. This Republican finds it tasty.


Filed under: Raw Politics • Republicans
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. nancy

    @ Emma ~~ I'm 58, if they want to give me a cool million to give up my job ~~ show me where to sign! 🙂

    April 1, 2009 at 9:35 am |
  2. Susan K

    The policy didn't change, only the promises and words changed. Moving into the White House changed Mr. Obama though. His biggest change is that is his actions have turned into empty words.

    April 1, 2009 at 9:05 am |
  3. Emma

    @ Kal : 1 million is not enough for a 50 years old to quit his job !!!

    April 1, 2009 at 6:45 am |
  4. J Koons

    MsPriceless, so Obama was promoted as a “Celebrity” more than a Political, Knowledgeable, Proven, Worthy Candidate. What was Bush promoted as??? Obama understands the Constitution, which to some of us is important. If he doesn't understand something, he gathers as many of the great minds of the nation to try to figure things out. Bush went to who??? Cheney? I will take Obama over Bush/Cheney/McCain/Palin any day of any week of any year.

    March 31, 2009 at 9:45 pm |
  5. Annie Kate


    I like both you and Paul Begala and find your "debates" fascinating. In this commentary you have captured a lot of the reservations I am starting to have on the new administration. I'm hoping its just learning curve, because I'm afraid I don't trust the GOP to refocus on the little people rather than wealthy Americans and big business which historically has been their target audience. The joke around here is "when is the GOP going to do something for all the little people that have voted for them"?

    If the GOP is so gung-ho about change now why don't you all work with the current Congress and President to get us all out of this mess? That will get you more votes in the long run than all the debates and posturing the party can do.

    March 31, 2009 at 9:34 pm |
  6. Mike

    Go spend some time finding a genuine Barry Goldwater revival candidate that can talk and think at the same time. Your party needs a common man that is intellectual and actual has heart. Right now your party looks like outcasts to a Wizard of Oz remake: Mitt Romney could play the Tin Man since I really quite sure he doesn't have a heart; Sarah Palin could play the Scarecrow frantically searching for a brain...you betcha, and Bobby Jindal could go searching for courage to potential disagree and have to take on Rush.

    March 31, 2009 at 9:27 pm |
  7. MsPriceless

    I am not at all Surprised! Obama was promoted as a "Celebrity" more than a Political, Knowledgeable, Proven, Worthy Candidate. Most people seemed so caught up in the Trend and Popularity that, they never knew or understood what he was capable of, his political history or the Democratic party itself. I can only say that it seems we are in an age where everyone is too concerned about feeling good and looking good. Not too many people want to sacrifice for the Greater Good! Only GOD is able to restore this defeat!

    March 31, 2009 at 9:24 pm |
  8. Michael C. McHugh

    I'm willing to bet anyone right now that Obama will be reelected in 2012. I've said all along that we're in a cyclical reform era, the first since the 1960s, and these periods last at least 8-12 years. It's just a fact of American political history going back 200 years or more that long conservative periods are followed by liberal reform periods. Nothing has ever changed that basic fact yet: not the Civil War, not two world wars or a Great Depression.

    So I'll bet anyone, any time that Obama is going to win in 2012, and that eventually even the Republicans will have to grudgingly accept his major reforms. Remember that they also hated FDR, but they have never dared to undo Social Security because it's popular. It will be the same with the reforms Obama is going to make: as long as they have popular support, no conservative politician in the future is going to abolish them.

    March 31, 2009 at 9:20 pm |
  9. penny

    "The change is that we have a president that is intelligent. Can't you smell the change?" Maybe you need to change, because if you can't smell it then there is something that needs to be looked into. For instance like your brain, attititude, possible getting glasses or a new pair. This is to prevent you from voting for someone like GW BUSH again! Please do not do that again!!"

    March 31, 2009 at 9:10 pm |
  10. LawHouse

    I actually like you Alex, BUT I get sick of your jabs at The Prez. I bet you are a good person, politics aside, but roughly 70 days into a Presidency and you act like there is supposed to be a Paradigm Shift this quickly? SERIOUSLY!! America is in a horrible place right now. NOBODY could have the war (we shouldn't have been in) and the economy fixed this quickly. Please grow up and stop acting so childish!!

    March 31, 2009 at 9:02 pm |
  11. Rose from NY

    Spot on analysis, Alex. I totally agree with you. Almost every Democrat I know is experiencing some form of buyer's remorse. Please tell Mr. Begala, that although I admire his fierce loyalty to the party, he is beginning to appear borderline delusional.

    March 31, 2009 at 9:02 pm |
  12. Wayne Radcliffe

    Sorry Alex, I agree with Paul. Obama is only getting started and he's already boldly reversed many regrettable policies of the Bush Administration.

    March 31, 2009 at 8:55 pm |
  13. Cindy

    Obama's change is that he's changed his views and ways on everything that he had run on in the campaign. Now he does as he pleases not as he promised. That is the change!


    March 31, 2009 at 8:51 pm |
  14. Deborah An Moore

    President Obama is bringing about the change that most Americans seem to want. The Social Security Program is going broke, the masses wanted to have stock market to control their retirement
    plans. The stock market and the top ten companies were overcooking their books and the unions were controlling the companies payroll. This is what President Bush is showing Americans.
    In order for the stock market to be viable source for retirement it must be corrected and monitored. This is what President Obama is doing to bring about the change that Americans want.

    March 31, 2009 at 8:48 pm |
  15. abc ~ anthing but california hugh

    Alex Castellanos is a poster child for the republican party–well not a child–so what do you expect for him to say. The GOP will continue to run Obama into the ground hoping a bunch of dumb Americans will believe their rightwing conservative viewpoints, or lies if you prefer. I for one am not taking the bait.

    It was the republican party and their deregulation ideology and no oversight for the regulations already on the books that got us into this economic pit of hell. If McCain had won, the GOP would be blaming the democratic controlled congress. Lying through their teeth, each and every day just to stay the course–pathetic!

    March 31, 2009 at 8:45 pm |
  16. xtina, chicago IL

    The big irony is that while Obama has done extremely well for himself in our free market economy, he has the audacity to demonize others who have done well for themselves, and to propose economic policies that will change our nation into a European socialist state. THAT's the change.

    March 31, 2009 at 8:44 pm |
  17. Kal

    This Would Work:
    I love this plan!

    This was an article from the St. Petersburg Times Newspaper on Sunday. The Business Section asked readers for ideas on "How Would You Fix the Economy?" I thought this was the BEST idea. I think this guy nailed it!
    Dear Mr. President,
    Patriotic retirement:
    There's about 40 million people over 50 in the work force; pay them $1 million, tax-free apiece severance with three stipulations:
    1) They leave their jobs. Forty million job openings – Unemployment fixed.
    2) They buy NEW American cars. Forty million cars ordered – Auto Industry fixed.
    3) They either buy a house or pay off their mortgage- Housing Crisis fixed.

    All National financial problems fixed!!!

    March 31, 2009 at 8:38 pm |