Jon Stewart had a good bit yesterday – referring to Monday’s speech. The President just pulled out of the process of saving the country, and went on national television and told the people to call Congress instead.
How about that.
So the week started out with a new briefing from the President. Smart choice, content ok, but still - so much lost opportunity.
A few points and reflections:
Other than this – the donors will probably go for tax hikes rather then treasury downgrade, so this “no” stuff might be entertainment or show-off for the far right base. Unless, as might be the case, they whipped up the anti-tax and anti-”government” sentiments too strong, and lost control of their own agenda.
But all in all, a productive presser.
A little get-together with Congressional Democrats and White House staffers.
Others in picture are Plouffe, Murray and Durbin, Gene Sperling and Stephanie Cutter.
Full photoset for March here.
The burdens of power..
Sen. Schumer is now slamming the House Speaker straight in the face – framing the budgetcut endgame as a simple choice between compromise or shutdown. Both will be an enormous disappointment and loss of face for the GOP and the House Leadership, in large part because Mr. Boehner himself previously condemned the whole concept of “compromise” as a weakness and a “sell-out”.
From the statement by Chuck Schumer today:
A compromise on the budget is right there for the taking, assuming the Speaker still wants one. We take it for granted that because of the intense political pressure being applied by the Tea Party, the Speaker needs to play an outside game as well as an inside game. As long as he continues to negotiate, it’s OK by us if he needs to strike a different pose publicly. Since last week, the two sides have made steady progress on a package of $33 billion in cuts. This is an historic level of spending cuts, it is the halfway mark between the two sides, and the Speaker has already agreed to this number privately. Differences may remain over where exactly the cuts should come from, but the only real question left is whether the political will exists to buck the Tea Party. At this point, we are so far down the road towards an agreement, and so little time remains before Friday’s deadline, that it would be a dramatic about-face for the Speaker to suddenly let things devolve into a shutdown, as many in the Tea Party are urging. As a result, we remain hopeful a deal will be reached.
There does seem to have been a certain change of mood and tone from the White House in the last few weeks.. And as Gibbs, Ax and Rahm have left – Plouffe, Daley and Carney have brought in a different way of doing things.
From left: Chief of Staff Daley, advisor Plouffe, Comm. Director Pfeiffer, security, PressSec Carney.
From the NyTimes:
The new team that Mr. Obama has assembled to run the White House is just starting to make its mark. But together Mr. Daley and Mr. Plouffe are bringing a new order and a different management style for different times, say people within the West Wing and others who deal with them. The White House is more disciplined and less personality-driven, more focused on long-term strategic goals and less consumed by the daily messaging skirmishes with Republicans — even when that means absorbing hits and pulling punches.
(..) Nonetheless, staff members describe a happier workplace with clearer lines of authority and less fear of being chided by the often brusque Mr. Emanuel. Responsibility for communications and messaging has been consolidated. Cabinet members who were often overlooked in the past say they are more in the loop. With Mr. Daley taking the lead, there is more outreach to Republicans and business groups.
Nice mix this time – of factories, sotu stuff, wh visits and a bit of architecture at the end.. the president looks fit and strong – all smiles and easy going..
We need more statements like this..
“I am not arrogant enough to believe that after one year as governor of New Jersey and seven years as the United States attorney that I’m ready to be president of the United States,” Mr. Christie said. “So I’m not going to run.”