Rhetoric: He Was Relentlessly Focused On Jobs
Norah O’Donnell: Did the president take his eye off the ball on jobs?
Secretary Geithner: Absolutely not. He was relentlessly focused on it. And in fact he was doing things that were deeply difficult politically for him.
O’Donnell: But people say he was focused on healthcare – not jobs and the economy?
Reality: A Scattershot Record Of Focusing On Jobs
Obama Has “A Scattershot Record (At Best) Of Focusing On The Main Concern Of Main Street: Joblessness.” “Obama arrives at his reelection campaign not merely with a weak performance on Wall Street crime enforcement and reform but also with a scattershot record (at best) of focusing on the main concern of Main Street: joblessness.” (Frank Rich, “Obama’s Original Sin,” New York Magazine, 7/3/11)
After The Stimulus, Obama “Pivoted Too Quickly” Away From The Economy. “And second, as soon as the stimulus package was completed, they pivoted too quickly to addressing climate change and health care.” (Charlie Cook, “Owning It Democrats Are In A Corner On Their Ownership Of The Economy And What They Can Do To Help Turn It Around,” National Journal, 6/6/11)
Obama “Must Reconcile An Early Focus On Subjects That Would Best Be Forgotten.” “For Obama, it’s pretty clear the recovery won’t be nearly as robust. In addition, he has to deal with a more complicated narrative where he must reconcile an early focus on subjects that would best be forgotten with making the case that he should have his contract renewed for another four years. That won’t be easy.” (Charlie Cook, “Owning It Democrats Are In A Corner On Their Ownership Of The Economy And What They Can Do To Help Turn It Around,” National Journal, 6/6/11)
The White House In 2009 “Assumed A Recovery Was Under Way” And So Fixing The Economy Was “No Longer Their Top Priority.” “Today, that brief period of optimism looks like one of the worst things that could have happened to the White House, other Democrats and, above all, the economy. The nascent recovery removed the urgency that the Obama administration and Democratic senators felt in early 2009. They still favored more action, like aid to states and tax cuts, but it was no longer their top priority. They assumed a recovery was under way.” (David Leonhardt, “Job Losses Outweigh Administration’s Successes,” The New York Times, 10/26/10)
VP Biden Said “The Heavy Lifting Is Over” And The White House Can Focus On Politics. “The ‘heavy lifting is over"’ when it comes to the Obama administration's legislative priorities this year, Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday evening. Biden said that, now Wall Street reform is finished and signed into law, the administration could go out and make its political case for its accomplishment. ‘Now that the heavy lifting is over, we can go out and make our case,” Biden said at a fundraiser in North Carolina, according to a pool report.” (Michael O’Brien, “Biden: ‘The Heavy Lifting Is Over,’” The Hill’s “Blog Briefing Room,” 7/23/10)
Obama Allies Are Critical Of The President For Not Coming Out Yet With A Plan For Jobs And The Budget. “Some of Mr. Obama’s political allies try to spin the story the other way, criticizing him for not coming out yet with public plans to both cut the deficit and stimulate the economy.” (Helene Cooper, “A Test for Obama’s View of a One-Term Presidency,” The New York Times, 8/9/11)
Economy Jobs, Wages and Unemployment