Did a fun interview with Donovan Slack (yes, a woman named Donovan) for the B-Globe. Here is the article...
Today’s visit is the latest in a string of presidential trips to battleground states since he introduced his jobs bill in September. The White House has said the forays are designed to take the president’s case for passage of the legislation directly to the public with hopes of pressuring Congress to pass it.
Congress has so far passed only one small piece of his bill, a measure signed by Obama yesterday that will provide tax credits to businesses that hire veterans. The rest appears mired in partisan gridlock on Capitol Hill, a logjam the president hopes to loosen by pushing his case directly to the public.
“We’re hopeful that the pressure from the American people is ultimately going to prevail,’’ one of the president’s top economic advisers, Brian Deese, said in an interview yesterday.
But some analysts say the destinations the White House has chosen for the trips appear to target electoral votes in the 2012 election rather than congressional votes to pass the jobs bill.
Shortly after unveiling the legislation, Obama held an event on a bridge that connects Ohio and Kentucky, the home turfs of House Speaker John Boehner and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, both Republicans. But his itinerary since then has included Colorado, Michigan, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, which do not have similar connections to GOP leadership on Capitol Hill but are all critical battleground states in next year’s presidential election.
It appears that he has “completely abandoned the idea of legislative accomplishments and switched to electoral accomplishments,’’ said Michael Munger, a Duke University political science professor who was a Libertarian candidate for governor of North Carolina in 2008.
Some analysts say it is a necessary tactic for the president.
“Taking his case to the folks in swing states makes obvious sense looking forward to 2012,’’ said Christopher Parker, a political science professor at the University of Washington.
Parker and others believe the logjam in Washington will not ease until the 2012 election is decided and the public gives a mandate to one side or the other to take action. Right now Republicans will not approve large amounts of new spending without an equal amount of cuts, and they are vehemently opposed to tax hikes. Democrats want new spending to accelerate economic recovery, including what is in the president’s jobs bill, but will not make deep spending cuts without new tax revenue.
"Makes obvious sense looking forward to 2012"? Prof. Parker, it's 2011. He is Prez NOW. There has never been a President, in my memory, so utterly indifferent to legislative accomplishment, or to the state of the nation. He does not enjoy working on legislation, doesn't care about policy, and doesn't like having people disagree with him. Much more fun giving campaign speeches to hand-picked audiences, 'cause they will stay say "Yay! You are the MAN!" Even though Prez O is NOT the man. Even Chris Matthews recognizes that Prez O is a nebbish.