Obama diving into budget battle?

posted at 1:32 pm on April 4, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Better late than never?  Seven months after a Congress controlled by his own party failed to produce a budget for FY2011 on time or at all, Barack Obama has decided to act to avoid a government shutdown.  Earlier today, the White House announced a summit involving John Boehner, Harry Reid, and key appropriators will take place at Obama’s end of Pennsylvania Avenue tomorrow:

President Barack Obama is summoning key lawmakers from both parties to the White House to help speed up budget negotiations and avoid a looming government shutdown at week’s end. …

Obama spokesman Jay Carney said that time was running short and the president would urge the lawmakers to reach an agreement. He said the White House was optimistic that a shutdown could be averted.

Obama has come under increasing fire for refusing to show leadership on the budget fight from both sides of the aisle.  This still may not be anything more than an attempt to cover his bases if the government does shut down.  Obama can say that he tried to offer mediation between the two sides, although he hasn’t done much publicly at all except criticize Republicans for attempting to cut all of 1.6% of the federal budget with the 40% deficit.

Bill Clinton earlier suggested that Obama should let a shutdown happen — the better to blame Republicans:

A government shutdown might not have a “traumatic” effect on the economy, former President Bill Clinton said Monday.

Clinton, who faced a shutdown during his 1995 budget negotiations with congressional Republicans, said he wasn’t sure whether President Obama was giving too much ground to the GOP in current negotiations, but suggested that a shutdown could backfire against Republicans, much as it did in the ’90s. …

“I think it could hurt the Republicans if it looks like the Democrats have a reasonable offer,” he explained.

That may be Obama’s intent in scheduling the summit tomorrow, but that’s a double-edged sword.  When Presidents make that kind of staged effort, they need something concrete as a result.  Presidents usually don’t like to leave the impression that they failed.  Shaping the battleground for a potential shutdown really only works when the crisis hasn’t resulted from an earlier political failure, too, and Republicans can and will point out that they passed a budget for FY2011 in the House in less than 90 days, something Democrats didn’t bother to do with full control in 365 days.

Even if it is a trap, though, Republicans can hardly refuse a presidential summons for a mediation session, especially not after making Obama’s lack of leadership into an issue on spending. They had better be prepared for the consequences. Speaking of which, what kind of beer would be best for a summit on the FY2011 budget? I’m thinking something dark, bitter, and with a bad finish.


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CompletelyPoll driven if true

PappyD61 on April 4, 2011 at 1:35 PM

oh, you mean that budget debate… right on it champ

gatorboy on April 4, 2011 at 1:36 PM

Obama diving into budget battle?

Hope he brought his water wings.

BobMbx on April 4, 2011 at 1:36 PM

Presidents usually don’t like to leave the impression that they failed.

Remember who we dealing with here….

ted c on April 4, 2011 at 1:37 PM

Meeting will not be televised like the Health Care summit. The President does not want to be shown-up by Ryan once again.

WashJeff on April 4, 2011 at 1:37 PM

Obama is pretty good at sitting around and talking without actually accomplishing anything. I’m thinking the summit will go quite well, and have no bearing on anything.

hawksruleva on April 4, 2011 at 1:37 PM

Obama is summoning key lawmakers from both parties

Hopefully the Republicans will not go. After all, that’s why they were elected.

Tommy_G on April 4, 2011 at 1:38 PM

Related: CBO on Medicare – “We need a Death Panel”

Under such an approach, patients would be able to use their own money to pay for the more expensive care…

For now

Rae on April 4, 2011 at 1:39 PM

so if a shutdown is averted, we can all thank Bambi. how the welfare class will applaud

kelley in virginia on April 4, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Guess bho is trying to out-do the r’s plan for a 4T reduction that is to come out tomorrow. bho just wants his face on the tube again tomorrow! I would bet the r’s cave on this, any takers? Why would the r’s trust bho and the d’s ever?
L

letget on April 4, 2011 at 1:41 PM

It’s a stage show.

cartooner on April 4, 2011 at 1:41 PM

What does Obama believe he will gain? How do we make sure he’s disappointed?

ElectricPhase on April 4, 2011 at 1:42 PM

It’s a stage show.

cartooner on April 4, 2011 at 1:41 PM

Obama, the musical

publiuspen on April 4, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Remember the heath care summit.

Boehner should tell him to pound sand, he’s had his chance, now the grown ups are going to lead.

IronDioPriest on April 4, 2011 at 1:44 PM

What does Obama and the democrats have to offer? They’ve already cut more with the CRs then the Dems were willing to take.

Rocks on April 4, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Makes sense–with the NCAA tourney ending tonight, President Obama will have time to work on a current-year budget starting tomorrow.

free-thinker on April 4, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Get ready for Obamas trademarked “I Won” and “Republican Obstructionist’s” speach. Sprinkled liberally with “Birther” and “Tea Party” moments of tension breaking levity.

Koa on April 4, 2011 at 1:46 PM

“I Won”

Knucklehead on April 4, 2011 at 1:46 PM

The repub’s should telll BO the price of admission to this summit is offering a plan. BO hasn’t put any political capital on the table. They should tell that ahole to specify cuts or go play with himself.

David in ATL on April 4, 2011 at 1:47 PM

Obama has come under increasing fire for refusing to show leadership on the budget fight from both sides of the aisle.

I picture Obama in front of large wall hanging map with a dart. He’s been busy.

Electrongod on April 4, 2011 at 1:48 PM

How did that “Jobs Summit” work out…?

Seven Percent Solution on April 4, 2011 at 1:54 PM

I’m thinking something dark, bitter, and with a bad finish.

RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACIST!!1eleventy!1!1

/MFM

red winger on April 4, 2011 at 1:55 PM

Presidents usually don’t like to leave the impression that they failed.

True, but most presidents don’t have a lapdog media that will spin their failure as a great success. Unfortunately, Barry does.

AZCoyote on April 4, 2011 at 1:57 PM

“… Presidents usually don’t like to leave the impression that they failed.”

Except in Obama’s case the impression and facts show that he ALWAYS fails.

JimP on April 4, 2011 at 1:59 PM

Obama, the musical

publiuspen on April 4, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Disguised as a tragedy.

Ditherer-in-Chief.

rbj on April 4, 2011 at 2:02 PM

This still may not be anything more than an attempt to cover his bases if the government does shut down.

Well it sure as hell isn’t about “leadership”.

As for Billy Clinton’s ‘the public will blame the Republicans’. I don’t think Barry is going to be following anymore Clinton advice any time soon.

GarandFan on April 4, 2011 at 2:06 PM

He’s ‘summoning’ the Republicans to the White House just so he can give them the finger like he did last time they visited him.

slickwillie2001 on April 4, 2011 at 2:06 PM

I can’t wait to see video of adults having a conversation regarding the budget mess…

… and Obowma suddenly sticking his head into the conversation and saying something stupid like:

“Don’t forget about weatherization!”

Seven Percent Solution on April 4, 2011 at 2:09 PM

Disguised as a tragedy.

Ditherer-in-Chief.

rbj on April 4, 2011 at 2:02 PM

If he were not so bad for the country it w/b a tragi-comedy.

As is, it’s a comedy of errors.

Schadenfreude on April 4, 2011 at 2:09 PM

Advice to GOP – Bring your own beer

Done That on April 4, 2011 at 2:09 PM

I don’t think the reps have a spine for this. They WILL give up more than they get. P-poor negotiaters.

Mirimichi on April 4, 2011 at 2:09 PM

I’m thinking something dark, bitter, and with a bad finish.

I recommend Arrogant Bastard ale…

SHARPTOOTH on April 4, 2011 at 2:10 PM

I look forward to Rep. Paul Ryan giving him another math lesson.

Yakko77 on April 4, 2011 at 2:11 PM

O-nuts:

Yesterday he announces his re-election campaign’s official start, today he ‘dives in’ to solve problems.

Yeah! HopenChange. Leadership on display.

/And by the way, all the problems are still Bush’s fault

Sir Napsalot on April 4, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Boehner should decline and go golfing instead. In Rio.

TexasDan on April 4, 2011 at 2:12 PM

When Presidents make that kind of staged effort, they need something concrete as a result.

Like a lawyer in court won’t ask a question he doesn’t already know the answer to, a normal President would have an agreement in his back pocket before he staged an event like this. So my first reaction to the news was that some kind of agreement had been reached.

Trouble is, Øbama is so inept that the usual rules may not apply. He may just be wingin’ it one more time.

petefrt on April 4, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Well, of course he’s “diving in”…..Didn’t you hear that his Campaigning for a 2nd term has now begun!

bridgetown on April 4, 2011 at 2:15 PM

Obowma and budgets…

Seven Percent Solution on April 4, 2011 at 2:16 PM

Better late than never? Seven months after a Congress controlled by his own party failed to produce a budget for FY2011 on time or at all, Barack Obama has decided to act to avoid a government shutdown. Earlier today, the White House announced a summit involving John Boehner, Harry Reid, and key appropriators will take place at Obama’s end of Pennsylvania Avenue tomorrow:

What about Mitch McConnell? If the Senate won’t pass what the House passes, he would have every right to filibuster, if he wasn’t invited to the meeting!

Boehner needs to go into this meeting and tell Obama publicly what Obama said to McCain at the health care summit: The election is over and we’re in the driver’s seat.

Steve Z on April 4, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Here’s to hoping Paul Ryan is one of the “key appropriators” going to the summit.

I think he one of the legislators who can really get under Obama’s skin…

For the beer? I suggest Ruination IPA.

Fallon on April 4, 2011 at 2:19 PM

Obowma and budgets…

Seven Percent Solution on April 4, 2011 at 2:16 PM

Your handle is very generous. $33 billion in cuts on a $1.6 trillion deficit is a Two Percent Solution.

Steve Z on April 4, 2011 at 2:19 PM

Well, of course he’s “diving in”…..Didn’t you hear that his Campaigning for a 2nd term has now begun!

bridgetown on April 4, 2011 at 2:15 PM

First a gitmo trial for whats his name, and now this “summit”. Coincidence?

sandee on April 4, 2011 at 2:20 PM

I’m thinking something dark, bitter, and with a bad finish.

I recommend Arrogant Bastard ale…

SHARPTOOTH on April 4, 2011 at 2:10 PM

How about Yuengling made by the bitter clingers in PA. Rhymes with Ding-a-ling!

Steve Z on April 4, 2011 at 2:23 PM

Obama is visiting the White House? When did that happen?

Hollowpoint on April 4, 2011 at 2:24 PM

what kind of beer would be best

Manchurian Lager — Double Arrogant B

(Seen at HuffPo, which I won’t link to unless pressed.)

petefrt on April 4, 2011 at 2:25 PM

Why should we expect him to contribute anything to the budget debate . . . he has contributed nothing of any substance to anything else. He lacks the guts to make any unpopular decision that will cost him a vote. He’s not concerned about the fiscal health of the country, he’s only concerned about getting himself another 4 years at the public feeding trough. The dolt is an absolute loser.

rplat on April 4, 2011 at 2:27 PM

I can already see George Snuffaluffagous bursting from the room proclaiming Republicans to be ogres, momentarily forgetting he is a member of the MSM and no longer part of a Presidential administration.

olesparkie on April 4, 2011 at 2:27 PM

I’m thinking the negotiation should go something like this:

“We either start the game with a carbon copy of the 2008 budget, which we’ll pass in the next 14 days, or you can pound sand on raising the debt limit.”

cthulhu on April 4, 2011 at 2:28 PM

Fallon on April 4, 2011 at 2:19 PM

Well, you and I know Øbama will find a way to keep Paul Ryan out of it, if he can. Teh Won doesn’t like having his clock cleaned.

petefrt on April 4, 2011 at 2:32 PM

Oh boy, another Beer Bash with Barack!

Dandapani on April 4, 2011 at 2:32 PM

Makes sense–with the NCAA tourney ending tonight, President Obama will have time to work on a current-year budget starting tomorrow.

free-thinker on April 4, 2011 at 1:46 PM

This means Obama has only two days to complete his charade on the budget, because the Masters starts on Thursday. I’m surprised he hasn’t booked a trip down to Augusta. Where’s the man’s priorities?

Rovin on April 4, 2011 at 2:33 PM

“I think it could hurt the Republicans if it looks like the Democrats have a reasonable offer,” he explained.

Heh. Tell the voters which part of the GOP’s proposed 1.6% budget cut is unreasonable, President intern-molester.

Jaibones on April 4, 2011 at 2:35 PM

Obama is pretty good at sitting around and talking without actually accomplishing anything. I’m thinking the summit will go quite well, and have no bearing on anything.

hawksruleva on April 4, 2011 at 1:37 PM

BINGOSKI!!!

44Magnum on April 4, 2011 at 2:54 PM

…In other news,
John McCain, having just discovered the country is in a budget crises has announced his suspension of all other duties and is rushing to Washington to get this crises under control.

Koa on April 4, 2011 at 3:22 PM

> what kind of beer would be best for a summit
> on the FY2011 budget?

Obama would serve a nice lager to the Dems, and — the ultimate in symbolism — cold piss to the Repubs.

Paul_in_NJ on April 4, 2011 at 3:31 PM

“Presidents usually don’t like to leave the impression that they failed.”

But remember… these are liberals. It doesn’t matter whether he actually failed or not. It’s what they say that matters!

dominigan on April 4, 2011 at 4:04 PM

Shut the faucker down…

highninside on April 4, 2011 at 5:12 PM

Shut it down…

Khun Joe on April 4, 2011 at 6:16 PM

I’m thinking something dark, bitter, and with a bad finish.

I recommend Arrogant Bastard ale…

SHARPTOOTH on April 4, 2011 at 2:10 PM

Good selection. That stuff is nasty.
At least the Arrogant Bastard they ship to Michigan.
The stuff I had in Texas was great.

mechkiller_k on April 4, 2011 at 9:08 PM

The line on Obama’s role has to be assuming it’s the same as it’s been in past “summit” meetings with Republicans – rejecting all Republican ideas out of hand, then challenging them for having no other ideas, and claiming he tried.

If he pulls this again, Republicans should leave the meeting telling the press, “It’s a shame he had to miss a golf game to say nothing. He’s been doing nothing from the golf course for two years, why suddenly run back to his office to do nothing? It’s not even raining.”

Adjoran on April 5, 2011 at 2:19 AM