Friday, February 06, 2009

So why hasn't Obama been a leader in crafting his major policy objective?

President Obama has been putting forth a full court press to press the Senate version of the bill that is in place now and basically matches the House bill except they've added about another $100 billion. He has been making a public appearance every day to push for the passage of that bill and even took to the opinion pages of the Washington Post to urge passage of the bill. He was writing about that specific plan and telling us how much it would do for the economy and our long term problems.

Now we have this bipartisan group trying to cut out about $100 billion from the bill so that they can come up with something that will gain a few Republican votes and pass. And they're patting themselves on the back for saving Obama from failing with his highest priority.
But Ms. Collins said Mr. Obama had offered encouragement. Senator Evan Bayh, Democrat of Indiana, said the work of the group could ultimately be a plus for the president by coming up with a package that cost less and led to more jobs.

“We might be the president’s best allies, helping him achieve his objective but honoring the reform message he stands for,” Mr. Bayh said.
President Obama seems really passive in this whole procedure. He allowed Pelosi and crew to craft the House bill. Then he urged the Representatives to support that bill even though it didn't fit the criteria that he'd trumpeted previously of having 40% in tax cuts. After that he allowed the Senate leadership to put together their version of the bill. And now he's pushing for that version of the bill. Right now the moderates might put together a bill that can get a few Republican votes. He'll probably urge for passage of that bill.

But why hasn't he offered more leadership on what should be in the bill in the first place instead of outsourcing his high priority policy making to the Hill? He's turned himself into chief lobbyist for the bill rather than the man at the table making sure that it's a decent bill that matches his priorities in the first place.