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Pivoting In Circles

- August 2, 2011

The White House And Democrats Insist They Are Going To Focus On Jobs Now, But Their Pledges Sound Familiar

NOW – AUGUST 2011: Politico’s Playbook: “DEMS PLAN PIVOT TO JOBS.” (Mike Allen, “DEMS PLAN PIVOT TO JOBS: Transportation, Infrastructure, Tax Breaks On Fall Agenda,” Politico’s “Playbook”, 8/2/11)

THEN – DECEMBER 2009: Politico’s Playbook: “SIREN: White House Plans 'Very Hard Pivot To Jobs' Next Month.” (Mike Allen, “SIREN: White House Plans 'Very Hard Pivot To Jobs' Next Month -- Will Be 'Prescriptive',” Politico’s “Playbook”, 12/23/09)

AT A CERTAIN POINT, OBAMA NEEDS TO ADMIT IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HIS FOCUS AND EVERYTHING TO DO WITH HIS POLICIES

11/2/09:  President Obama Said That The Economy Was His “Overriding Focus.” “This is my administration's overriding focus.  Having brought the economy back from the brink, the question is how are we going to make sure that people are getting back to work and able to support their families.” (President Barack Obama, “Remarks By The President During The Meeting Of The President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board,” The White House, 11/2/09)

12/23/09: “SIREN: White House Plans 'Very Hard Pivot To Jobs' Next Month.” (Mike Allen, “SIREN: White House Plans 'Very Hard Pivot To Jobs' Next Month -- Will Be 'Prescriptive',” Politico’s “Playbook”, 12/23/09)

1/14/10: Obama Says He Will “Have A Sustained And Relentless Focus Over The Next Several Months On Accelerating The Pace Of Job Creation, Because That’s Priority Number One.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks At The House Democratic Caucus Retreat, Washington, DC 1/14/10)

1/28/10: Obama Told Town Hall In Tampa, Florida That “Creating Jobs Has To Be Our Number One Priority In 2010.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks At Town Hall Meeting, Tampa, FL, 1/28/10)

1/29/10: Obama Told Congressional Republicans That Americans “Want Us To Focus On Their Job Security.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks At GOP House Issues Conference, Baltimore, MD, 1/29/10)

  • By March, The New York Times Asked “Whatever Happened To That Shift From Health Care To The Economy?” “By the time March arrived, President Obama was supposed to be entering his third month of the year talking about three things: jobs, jobs, jobs. … So whatever happened to that shift from health care to the economy?” (Jeff Zeleny, “A Plan To Talk About Jobs, Elbowed Aside By Health Care,” The New York Times, 3/2/10)

3/17/10: Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY): “Congress Is Focusing On What The American People Want Us To Focus On, Which Is Jobs, Jobs, Jobs.” (Brian Faler, “Tax Break For New Hires Clear Congress In Jobs Bill,” Bloomberg, 3/17/10)

4/27/10: "Obama To Focus On Jobs, Rural Economy In Two-Day Midwest Trip." (Roger Runningen, "Obama To Focus On Jobs, Rural Economy In Two-Day Midwest Trip," Bloomberg4/27/10)

  • “President Barack Obama Embarks On A Two-Day, Campaign-Style Swing Through The Rural Midwest Today To Talk About The U.S. Economy And Jobs As He Turns Attention To What Will Be A Top Issue In The November Midterm Elections.”  (Roger Runningen, "Obama To Focus On Jobs, Rural Economy In Two-Day Midwest Trip," Bloomberg4/27/10)

5/18/10: "Democrats Shifting Focus Back To Jobs Creation.” (Jackie Calmes, "Democrats Shifting Focus Back To Jobs Creation," The New York Times, 5/18/10) 

  • “A Year That Democrats Decreed Would Be About ‘Jobs, Jobs, Jobs’ Has Produced A Far Different Check List.” “A year that Democrats decreed would be about ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’ has produced a far different check list as its sixth month nears: health care, financial regulation, energy, a nuclear arms treaty and a Supreme Court vacancy, as well as investigations into a mine accident, a calamitous oil spill, a failed terrorist attack in Times Square and alleged Wall Street fraud... They hope to change that starting this week.” (Jackie Calmes, "Democrats Shifting Focus Back To Jobs Creation," The New York Times, 5/18/10)

6/17/10: The Obama Administration Kicks Off “Recovery Summer … A Six-Week Long Push Designed To Highlight The Jobs Accompanying A Surge In Stimulus-Funded Projects.” “Vice President Joe Biden today will kick off the Obama administration’s ‘Recovery Summer,’ a six-week-long push designed to highlight the jobs accompanying a surge in stimulus-funded projects to improve highways, parks, drinking water and other public works.” (Mike Allen, “Obama, Biden Declare ‘Recovery Summer’,” Politico, 6/17/10)

7/12/10: Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV): “This Work Period, Like Every Work Period, Will Be About Jobs: How To Create Them, How To Save Them …” (Sen. Harry Reid, Floor Remarks, 7/12/10)

  • 8/25/10: MSNBC’s Chuck Todd: “I Have To Say These Housing Numbers, This Entire Summer, Remember It Began – The Administration Called It ‘Recovery Summer.’ Every Economic Indicator Has Collapsed In The Last Two Months.” (MSNBC, “The Daily Rundown,” 8/25/10)

9/8/10: Obama Launches A “Hail-Mary Pass To Stimulate The Economy And Create New Jobs.” “Facing a grim unemployment picture and potentially disastrous mid-term elections for Democrats, President Obama is launching the political equivalent of a hail-Mary pass to stimulate the economy and create new jobs.” (Editorial, “Desperately Seeking Jobs,” The Miami Herald, 9/8/10)

  • “Voters Are Entitled To Ask Why The Administration Has Waited So Long To Focus On Job Creation …” “Voters are entitled to ask why the administration has waited so long to focus on job creation (beyond government jobs). By doing so very late in the game, it suggests that Mr. Obama is desperate to find solutions for an economic stimulus plan that failed.” (Editorial, “Desperately Seeking Jobs,” The Miami Herald, 9/8/10)

12/22/10: President Obama Said “We Now Have To Pivot And Focus On Jobs And Growth.” (President Barack Obama, News Conference, Washington D.C., 12/22/10)

  • Obama Added That “Making A Dent In The Unemployment Rate” Was His “Singular Focus.” “And my singular focus over the next two years is not rescuing the economy from potential disaster, but rather jumpstarting the economy so that we actually start making a dent in the unemployment rate and we are equipping ourselves so that we can compete in the 21st century.” (President Barack Obama, News Conference, Washington D.C., 12/22/10)

1/31/11: “The White House Has Quickly Pivoted To Jobs After The President’s State Of The Union.” “Turning to domestic politics, the White House has quickly pivoted to jobs after the president’s State of the Union -- even if it’s being overshadowed by the situation in Egypt.” (“First Thoughts: Balancing Act,” NBC News’ “First Read,” 1/31/11)

4/1/11: “Obama’s Day: Turning Back To Jobs … President Obama Returns Today To What He Calls His Top Priority: Jobs.” “Though his presidential hours have been crowded by Libya, Japan and other foreign policy challenges, President Obama returns today to what he calls his top priority: jobs.” (David Jackson, “Obama’s Day: Turning Back To Jobs,” USA Today, 4/1/11)

8/2/11: “OBAMA AND SENATE DEMS PLAN PIVOT TO JOBS: Senate Democrats hope they now have ‘checked the box’ on debt reduction and can move to an agenda focused on job creation and economic growth, through a combination of spending and tax cuts.” (Mike Allen, “DEMS PLAN PIVOT TO JOBS: Transportation, Infrastructure, Tax Breaks On Fall Agenda,” Politico’s “Playbook”, 8/2/11)

CHANCES ARE, THAT LIKE THE OTHER PIVOTS, OBAMA WILL BE MORE FOCUSED ON SAVING HIS OWN JOB RATHER THAN CREATING ANY FOR AMERICA

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)

Former Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) Said That ObamaCare Was A Distraction From The “Jobs Problem.” “I agree with that and I think it was an important thing to do but it had a huge cost as it spun out. Because first of all, it was… it sopped up all the brain cells for a year while other problems festered. And I think, I don’t know that we would be farther along with the jobs problem but it is the huge problem and it’s going to be the motivator for a lot of voters in 2012. That was one and two I think because the product was partisan, its acceptance, and Vin’s right, it’s being challenged everywhere has been very tough.” (Former Rep. Jane Harman,Remarks At The Aspen Ideas Festival, Aspen, CO, 6/28/11)

  • Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) Said White House Pushed Health Care And Climate Change Legislation When They Should Have Been Focused On Jobs. “He said the ‘momentum of the campaign’ convinced the White House to move forward with health care and climate change legislation when jobs should have been their priority. Also, putting forth a health care proposal without much guidance to Congress complicated life for senators quite significantly, he said. ‘This health care reform debate was bubbling up through five different committees without this specific legislative framework,’ he said.” (Marc Ambinder, “Webb: Obama Had Wrong Focus In The Beginning,” The Atlantic10/1/10)
  • President Obama’s “Lack Of A Laser-Like Focus” On The Economy Gave Democrats “Cause For Concern.” “The economy, and Obama's lack of a laser-like focus on the issue, has given some Dems in competitive districts cause for concern. ‘The economy is the biggest issue for voters and for most candidates,’ said Maura Dougherty, a Dem consultant who represents a significant number of clients facing tough re-elections. ‘To have the White House talking about something else is not helpful.’” (Jeremy P. Jacobs, “Obama Struggling To Find Footing On Economy,” Hotline’s On Call Blog, 8/30/10)

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