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Axelrod: voter backlash against Obama was unavoidable

President Obama's senior adviser, David Axelrod, said Sunday that it is impossible to 'govern in an economy like this without great disaffection.'

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President Obama’s senior adviser, David Axelrod, said Sunday that the economic disaster left behind by the Bush administration made the current voter anger – and its toll on Mr. Obama’s agenda – virtually unavoidable.

“I said to him a year ago, ‘Mr. President, your numbers are going to be considerably worse a year from now than they are today, because you can't govern in an economy like this without great disaffection,’ ” said Mr. Axelrod on ABC’s “This Week.”

“And that's what's happened,” he added.

Last week's US Senate race in Massachusetts, however, suggests that Americans are less interested in explanations or blame than a change of the nation’s course. Given the depth of the continued economic crisis, that puts the Obama administration in the difficult position of trying to encourage hope while also keeping expectations reasonable.

The election last week of Republican Scott Brown to the US Senate seat previously held by Edward Kennedy marked the biggest setback to the Obama administration since it came to office. The Democrats lost their filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, endangering some of Obama’s most important initiatives, including healthcare reform and greenhouse-gas regulations.

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