White House reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg appeared on MSNBC's Tuesday afternoon political show "Transition Edition ," hosted by the Times' John Harwood and MSNBC's Tamron Hall, to discuss Barack Obama's appearance at the National Governors Association meeting in Philadelphia on Tuesday, where the governors predictably pushed (federally funded) "infrastructure spending" as a way out of the recession.
The liberal Stolberg foundObama's big-government, "New New Deal" thinkinga "comfort," arguing that today's economic situation was akin to the Great Depression.
Host John Harwood: "Now Sheryl, there are some people who listen to discussion of infrastructure spending and say that sounds like very Old Democrat thinking, to in effect shovel money out the door and spend it on projects of that kind. Is there any concern on the Obama team that that's how it comes across, or do they think circumstances are such that, that there's wide consensus that this is a good idea?
Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg: "Well I think you're seeing a very interesting comparison frankly to Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal. This has been called the New New Deal. We know that President-elect Obama has been reading up on the Hoover-Roosevelt transition. So I don't think it's any great surprise that we're hearing proposals come out of him that sound a lot like this, and maybe there's some comfort to it. The last time the country experienced this kind of economic situation was the Great Depression, and I think their feeling is, look, we've got to do something big, we've got to do something bold, we've got to hit this economic problem with sort of a financial shock and awe. And if transportation infrastructure is a way to create new jobs, the 2.5 million new jobs that Sen. Obama is talking about, well so be it."