National Journal’s Ron Fournier writes that “White House officials tell me they feel stung by coverage of the inaugural address,” when the press “highlighted the president’s left-leaning stances on immigration, gun control, climate change, and gay and women’s rights.” Those White House officials claimed to Fournier that Obama in fact devoted much of his inaugural address to the economy — a claim that is on its face not true.
Obama’s slighting of the economy is nothing new. Critics charged throughout his first term that at a time when economic conditions bordered on the desperate, the president devoted more than a year of his energies to passing a national health care scheme. At the time, the White House promised it would “pivot” to the issue of jobs and the economy at some future time. That time never came. Meanwhile, all the polls showed deep public concern over the economy.
Now, apparently, Obama has noticed public opinion. “Obama’s return to an overtly economic message is supported in part by polls,” reports the Post, which notices “a gulf between what Obama has been talking most about publicly since his reelection and what most concerns the American electorate.”
Anyone could have seen that at any time in the last few months, or years. See here, and here, and here. Despite the nation’s deep and prolonged suffering, the president has simply never put the economy at the top of his agenda.