President Obama made yet another appearance this morning to urge the Congress to pass a debt-ceiling bill. He said nothing of consequence that would persuade anyone on either side of the debate. So why do it? Because it is painfully obvious he is doing nothing constructive. He intoned this morning, “There are plenty of ways out of this mess, but we’re almost out of time.” The only thing absent was a constructive idea as to how the Boehner bill can get through the House.
Instead the White House political hacks are busy making up story lines to feed to bored reporters. The Reuters account sounds like it was written by the Obama campaign:
President Barack Obama is deeply involved in trying to win a debt deal and his White House was working flat out, aides said, pushing back against any impression Congress had sidelined the administration.
“He’s getting absolutely no sleep. He’s working tirelessly, meeting with his economic team, doing a lot of outreach, exploring all kinds of possibilities for compromise,” top Obama aide Valerie Jarrett told Reuters Insider.
Oh, puleez. There is not a scintilla of evidence that Obama is doing anything to move the process ahead.
But rather than report on whether this is actually true, Reuters serves up more White House propaganda:
“I don’t know how you can get more actively involved,” Daley told CNN when charged that the White House has been relegated to the sidelines in the deficit debate by Congress. “I’m in constant conversations, as are many of our staff, with people on the Hill,” he said.
Vice President Joe Biden, who led bipartisan negotiations to explore a deal, has been a key conduit to Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell, with whom he has a rapport.
White House budget chief Jack Lew and top Obama economic aide Gene Sperling have also reinforced Obama in reaching out to Congress. Daley and Jarrett, both with business backgrounds, have been the president’s top emissaries to the business community, where concerns over the debt ceiling have grown.
Imagine, though, if Obama really had been constructive. Imagine if he hadn’t upped the ante during negotiations with the speaker of the House. Mull over what would have happened had he even proposed in concrete form his own deal? He’s done none of that, and all the spin in the world will not change that. Or as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) put it on the Senate floor this morning, “Look: If the president hadn’t decided to blow up the bipartisan solution that members of Congress worked so hard to produce last weekend, we’d be voting to end this crisis today. . . . And the president’s rolling out new mileage standards.” Amazing that on THAT he has some concrete plan.