“He’s willing to try anything” to get lawmakers to collaborate with him, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Monday. Carney was asked why the president decided to play golf on a workday with three senators, including Republicans Bob Corker of Tennessee and Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, whom he considers members of the “common sense caucus” he’s attempting to build.
Obama is indeed trying multiple strategies on the theory that experimentation might pay dividends. This year, he’s ignored the House; engaged the Senate; tried to bargain with himself on entitlement cuts; lost the incentives on sequester; and then signed a repair bill to fix aviation furloughs piecemeal. He assailed GOP lawmakers, bemoaned his failure to change lawmakers’ minds, and reluctantly initiated a new charm offensive with the opposition.
“He’s having one-on-one conversations, group conversations, meals, golf games, hard-headed negotiations with legislators, and he is going out to the country and talking to regular folks out there about the issues that matter to them and about the need for them to speak up and engage in a process to demand that Congress take action,” Carney explained.
Obama will visit a technical high school in Austin, Texas, Thursday as part of his latest “middle-class jobs and opportunity tour,” the White House announced. The president will showcase worker training and employer innovations in the technology field to spotlight his legislative agenda, outlined last year during his campaign and during his January State of the Union address.