Well, sort of. Chuck Todd reports for NBC that his sources at the White House think that Harry Reid and his caucus haven’t done enough to reach out to the House Republican leadership. Having Joe Biden lead a meeting is more a facilitation or mediation rather than seeing a need for presidential leadership, and that Barack Obama’s offer of $6.5 billion in cuts was merely an ice-breaker.
Anyone buying this? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
The shot here is actually rather apropos. Leadership of both parties have openly complained about the lack of leadership on the budget over the last couple of weeks. John Boehner hadn’t even heard from Obama until the Speaker of the House told reporters about the Silence of the ‘Bams, at which point Obama finally talked to Boehner on the phone for a few minutes. Senate Democrats have started grumbling about the lack of leadership and engagement from their President, a problem they didn’t seem to mind while failing to produce a budget while they held the majorities in both chambers of Congress. The lack of direction makes it more difficult for Harry Reid to keep his caucus united, especially when many of them face tough re-election battles in red states next year.
Thus we have the Obama version of leadership — sending a second in his place to do and say nothing, while arguing that the budget isn’t their problem at all. Empty podium, indeed.