So says CBS, which tries reading a few tea leaves and comparing them to public statements to guess whether the federal government will remain open for business after Friday. Given Barack Obama’s statement yesterday that he wants progress and will haul Congressional leaders back to the White House if he doesn’t see any, the lack of a meeting on the schedule means, er, happy days are here again:
Mr. Obama told reporters yesterday that if Congress “can’t sort it out, I want them back [at the White House] tomorrow.”
A senior White House official told CBS News this morning that there has been “some progress” since then and a decision on whether there will be another White House meeting will be made later today, based on how the congressional negotiations proceed. …
On ABC’s “Good Morning America” today, Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer said it’s a good sign there’s no White House budget meeting scheduled today.
In order to buy this analysis, one would have to believe that Obama is just itchin’ to get into this budget fight … six months after the bill was due, and four months after his party last had control of the House and Senate combined. That was certainly the message Obama tried sending yesterday with his curiously belated ire over a Congress that fails to pass a budget. No one could recall Obama getting this excited when Nancy Pelosi couldn’t be bothered to produce a budget with a 77-seat majority, but some people take longer to engage than others, I suppose.
A fiery President Obama insisted Tuesday that if he and congressional leaders couldn’t reach a deal to avert a government shutdown, “I want a meeting again tomorrow here at the White House.”
“I will invite the same folks that we invited today,” he added. “And if that doesn’t work, we’ll invite them again the day after that. And I will have my entire team available to work through the details of getting a deal done.”
Obama’s team may not include the president himself. Despite the impasse in Washington over federal spending, the president as of early Wednesday was scheduled to give two speeches outside of Washington: one on energy in the Philadelphia suburbs, then another Wednesday evening to a group of black political activists in New York.
The group of black political activists in New York is the National Action Network, run by Al Sharpton. Apparently, in this all-important fight, it’s more critical for Obama to lend Sharpton some political credibility than to demonstrate personal leadership on a budget his own party should have produced more than six months ago.
The lack of leadership is unfortunately not a surprise, and contra Schumer, it’s not good news, either.