It appears one should never say in Christiane Amanpour's presence Barack Obama isn't ideologically flexible.
When former Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Holtz-Eakin did so on ABC's "This Week" Sunday, the host pushed back, "Do you think that’s true that he hasn’t shown flexibility since he's, he’s sort of come completely to the Republican tenor of the debate?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, HOST: Well Doug, can he be bold for the very reasons that, that Paul just suggested? It's not possible.
DOUGLAS HOLTZ-EAKIN, FORMER DIRECTOR CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE: Well, the question is can he show some ideological flexibility, which he has not shown so far. He showed a little late this week by rolling back a very expensive rule…
AMANPOUR: Do you think that’s true that he hasn’t shown flexibility since he's, he’s sort of come completely to the Republican tenor of the debate?
He's come completely to the Republican tenor of the debate? Really?
So he's suddenly against any additional government spending and instead wants signficant cuts while taxes are also reduced?
As Holtz-Eakin pointed out, that's hardly the case:
HOLTZ-EAKIN: But what we've seen is again and again, the same playbook, which is, we want to focus on near-term stimulus. And if you look at measures, like the budget deficit, if the economy’s at full employment, that's still rising in 2011. That playbook's been in place and it's not working. It didn’t work in the '60s and '70s when we tried again and again to use stimulus to fine-tune the economy.
So he needs to go to a different playbook which says we have to have a fundamental change toward a growth philosophy. We need to have some permanent changes, like a lower corporate rate, tax-free repatriations for our business community. And he actually does have to show some respect for the business community. He needs small, medium and large businesses not to be the target of sort of class warfare rhetoric, but to be the focus of his policies.
Yeah - the likelihood of Mr. Ideologically Inflexible doing that is higher than Amanpour voting for a Republican in the upcoming elections.