I’d add this to the earlier post on Detroit and Barack Obama’s new PR campaign on the economy, but this really deserves a perch of its own, even though it’s a couple of days old now. Chuck Todd may have scored the Coinage Award of the Month with the phrase “deja pivot” to describe the — 8th? 9th? 11th? 19th? — pivot to jobs and the economy by the White House. Looks like the media isn’t exactly impressed with the big windup to the same old pitch after all (via the Weekly Standard):
TODD: “This speech, this pivot – pivot to the economy, again it’s like déjà pivot I have when it comes to the economy. But it seems like they really are signaling they are going to have a campaign approach to this fight with congress when it comes to the debt ceiling, when it comes to sequestration 2.0. All of the decisions coming to a head in the fall, they’re basically saying, hey, we’re going to travel the country.”
THE WASHINGTON POST’S DAN BALZ: “Well, they learned that lesson in 2011 during the debt ceiling debacle, which was playing out at this point two years ago. When that collapsed and turned into such a mess, they pivoted away as we all know and went into campaign mode in the fall. And as you remember, he put the Jobs Act forward right after Labor Day in 2011 mostly as a campaign effort. And I think what we’re going to see is very similar. But I think that the real question is what does he really have to say at this point? Is he simply trying to do it for politics? Perhaps. But that begs the question of what do you do about a sticky unemployment rate, middle class families that are struggling. There’s a lot that he has to deal with.”
TODD: “You know what they’re acknowledging? That they have nothing new to say. Because what are they saying? ‘Hey, look back at this speech!’ He’s said it all before, so he doesn’t have anything new to say. He’s just going to say it differently.”
Dan Balz’ colleague Greg Sargent followed up this morning with a lament that news organizations aren’t taking Obama’s latest pivot seriously enough:
Genuinely sad to see supposedly neutral news orgs mocking the idea of a "pivot" to jobs.
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) July 24, 2013
That resulted in an eruption of, well, laughter:
@ThePlumLineGS Maybe this should tell you something.
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) July 24, 2013
@ThePlumLineGS not sadder than this being the 9th such pivot. I can't imagine why the mocking.
— Robert (@TheCheekyTaurus) July 24, 2013
— TallDave (@TallDave7) July 24, 2013
@ThePlumLineGS well he has pivoted so many times he must be get dizzy. Why not just stay focused on jobs? Fair question.
— Cory (@Jake_Sam) July 24, 2013
Of course, the news org in this case was MSNBC, which hardly rates as a “neutral news org.” The fact that even the most sympathetic cable outlet to the White House is mocking the idea of another “pivot” should be highly instructive.