President Obama started his reelection campaign last Spring. But things will really get going next Thursday night.
That’s when Obama will offer a series of small scale proposals that at best will help the economy on the margins. But they may help Obama get reelected.
The White House itself, in a report released yesterday, predicted that economic growth will remain weak through much of next year and that the unemployment rate will be about at 8.5 percent on Election Day.
OBAMA HAS ALREADY FAILED TO FIX THE ECONOMY. IT’S OVER.
So what’s going on here?
Some of the proposals Obama offers up Thursday may pass Congress. But most will be rejected by Republicans. And then he will blame the GOP for failing to fix the economy.
The Republicans are being set up.
The White House has recognized the fun of blaming George W. Bush for the disastrous economy is over. They need a new boogeyman. Enter John Boehner, the Tea Party, and the House Republican caucus.
Obama must make his proposals as big a deal as possible, so that everyone knows how hard he’s “trying to help.” That’s why he’s scheduled an address to Congress. No higher profile than that.
And he must calibrate his ideas as carefully as possible so that they seem like they should be palatable to the GOP. He’ll offer ideas that some Republicans have supported, but which in the current high-deficit environment will be rejected.
Then he will talk about his largely meaningless initiatives every chance he gets. And then later, every chance he gets, he will talk about how Republicans rejected them and ruined his noble crusade.
It’s a huge gamble, because Obama has already decided not to take the sweeping measures needed to help the economy. Instead, he’s been running for reelection.
Absent major fiscal reforms that take a significant bite out of entitlements, the government’s fiscal picture and the overall economic outlook are not going to improve. Stimulus has not worked. What the economy needs is confidence, and to build confidence we must get a handle on the federal debt. And a president who has shown no leadership on the issue – who in fact has vastly increased spending and the debt – and who is instead trying to politicize the debate, is not going to lead us to that particular Promised Land.
So if things are not going to improve, there really is no choice other than to blame someone else.
Get ready for the nastiest political campaign season you’ve ever seen. From the people who brought you hope and change.