Well, governing’s been a bust thus far, and Obama likes getting out of the White House. Why not go back to what he does best — in fact, just about all he’s done in his political career?
On Monday, President Obama will travel to [Elkhart, Indiana] to highlight what’s at stake as his $800-billion-plus economic stimulus bill is debated in Congress.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says Obama wants to go where the nation’s economic problems are “acute” as part of his “his effort to convince Congress to move swiftly.” …
Monday’s visit will be Obama’s third trip to Elkhart — he stopped by twice during the presidential campaign — but his first trip outside Washington as president to meet face-to-face with average citizens.
Free tickets to the Concord High School town-hall-style meeting were handed out first-come-first-served starting at noon Saturday. People were lined up before 7 a.m. and the tickets were gone by early afternoon.
During the campaign, critics and opponents noted that the only real track record Obama had built in thirteen years of politics was campaigning for something else. Three weeks into his new administration, he’s found governing to be difficult, especially when trying to shove a partisan porkfest down the throats of an increasingly skeptical public. Time to go back to campaign mode! It apparently beats pulling the bill back for a chance to offer Republicans some input to get a bill that would generate easy support and passage.
Jazz Shaw can’t understand why Obama and the Democrats don’t see that:
If Obama allows this bill to slide through under the Democratic leadership’s knuckle, his vision of a post-partisan, new America working together for a bright future melts into just another four year cycle of political rhetoric which we’ve heard far too many times before. Today is the time to be in the trenches salvaging what will doubtless be one of the defining moments of Obama’s first (and if he’s lucky, not only) term. It’s not a moment to drop back into election mode and head off for a campaign rally.
In a way, Obama’s escaping rather than campaigning. The problem in this bill isn’t in Elkhart, and neither is the solution. Obama let his signature issue jump off the rails when he failed to control Nancy Pelosi and force her to get Republicans involved in writing the bill. That didn’t happen in Elkhart. He could solve that problem by summoning Pelosi and Harry Reid to the Oval Office and instructing them to go back to the drawing board, this time with Republican leadership, and get a bill that would gain massive support on both sides of the aisle.
After all, it’s not as if Republicans have shown an allergy to government spending over the last decade, and a targeted, efficient stimulus already has Republican support, as shown in the alternatives already offered by House and Senate GOP caucuses. If such a bill passed with wide margins, Obama could claim leadership and bipartisanship. Instead, he caved to Pelosi’s partisanship, and worse gave it cover by doing what Pelosi refused to do: meet with Republicans. The Left laughably claims this as bipartisanship, demanding that Republicans reciprocate by supporting a bill in which Democratic leadership refused to give them a voice.
Reversing that would take leadership by Obama, which has been completely absent in the first three weeks. Instead of leading, Obama’s bailing out of Washington and hiding out 1500 miles away. He wants to go back to what he does best, which is obviously not governing or leading.