President Obama is set for a reboot of his campaign this week. Three years ago, President Obama said that if he didn’t have the economy fixed in three years than he would be a one term president. But three years on, the economy isn’t fixed, so Obama is now blaming Republicans for sticking him with the bill for a fancy steak dinner. Nice line, but in three years Obama has run up more debt than George W. Bush ran up in eight. Obama is sticking taxpayers with that tab, but in a sneaky way by making sure there is no official federal budget that clearly spells out where the money is going. He’s handing you a bill for the world’s most expensive steak dinner without doing you the courtesy of listing what you’re paying for.
When running against Bush (essentially), Obama called Bush’s debt record “unpatriotic.” What would candidate Obama say about President Obama’s $5.1 trillion in debt in just three years? He would probably do what he has done on Romney’s economic plan: Pretend it’s not there.
On Thursday, nearly a week after declaring that the private sector is doing fine, the president is expected to do what he always does in times of trouble: Give yet another speech. His slogan should be “TOTUS for POTUS.” Thursday’s speech will mark the official expiration of Obama’s “one term proposition” statement. He is expected to say that no, the private sector is not doing fine, and that he needs another term to fix it. What would he actually do to fix it? He isn’t saying.
In an economic speech on Thursday that could set the tone for months of campaigning, Obama is not likely to unveil new ideas to boost the economy and create new jobs, according to Democrats familiar with the preparations for the address.
Instead, he will make the case that he needs four more years to undo the damage left by George W. Bush, his Republican predecessor in the White House, and argue that a President Romney would bring back the weak financial regulation and budget-busting tax cuts of the Bush years.
This evidence suggests that Obama is not heeding James Carville’s advice. In a strategy memo released this week, Carville advised the president to talk more about the future than about the past, and to remove any doubts that Obama understands the struggles that millions of Americans are going through in this economy. Friday’s “the private sector is doing fine” showed that Obama is out of touch with what is happening in the economy. In the steak dinner quip, Obama is talking about the past. In a reboot speech with no details, Obama is offering no concrete plans for the future.
Barack Obama was never likely to do much advised by James Carville. They come from different wings of the Democratic Party, wings that do not get along well. Carville is of the Clinton/DLC wing that spent the 1980s and 1990s moving the Democrats away from far left McGovernite policies. Obama is the very incarnation of those far left McGovernite policies. Carville’s memo was as much about reassuring the DLCers and potential donors that someone in the party understands things better than Obama does, as it was about actual strategic advice. Carville is positioning the Clinton faction to be able to pick up the pieces from a debacle they see coming the Democrats’ way in the fall. When Bill Clinton commits “gaffes” that undermine Obama, he is doing the same thing: Positioning his faction of the Democratic Party to emerge from an Obama defeat stronger than the wing Obama represents.
Behind that struggle for intraparty supremacy, though, it’s clear that neither the DLC nor the Obama wings of the Democratic Party have any new ideas on job growth. While they disagree on a few issues like the XL Pipeline, neither wing is calling for repealing ObamaCare, and neither wing is suggesting rolling back any government regulations or reining in the EPA. Both wings are calling for more government spending, running up the tab on that $5 trillion steak.