President Obama is preparing to escape wintry Washington and lob the finger at chilly Chicago, departing Dec. 18 for a Hawaii vacation lasting at least two weeks.
But – oh no – the trip may be delayed, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs acknowledged today.
“The president will be here for as long as he needs to be here to get progress on and to make progress on the issues . . . that he outlined in the meeting,” Gibbs said.
The concern here is that the Republicans want not only to make Obama a one-term president, but also to screw up his 2010 vacation. They can do it by dragging out the Bush tax cut negotiations, which are the main thing that both Obama and the Republicans want to get done before Congress leaves town for the year.
Democratic leaders say they want to get the START treaty approved, pass the DREAM immigration bill, and do a couple of other major things in the lame duck. Obama plays along, but he knows Republicans aren’t going to consider these items until they seat all their new members next year, so such things won’t affect his Hawaiian idyll.
One potential incentive for Republicans: The closer Obama gets to a two week vacation in his Hawaiian paradise, the harder it may be to argue that he’s battling for the middle class and hates tax cuts for the rich.