What To Watch For In Today’s “Economic” Speech By Obama

Today begins yet another pivot to the economy by Community Organizer in Chief Obama, whose previous pivots have worked so well. Does anyone remember the one back in May? Where’d that go? Anyhow, consider this comment by Victor Davis Hanson, made it terms of Obama’s race comment

The president, I think, spoke out for three reasons: 1) He is an unbound, lame-duck president, with a ruined agenda, facing mounting ethical scandals; from now on, he will say things more consonant with being a community organizer than with being a nation’s president; 2) he knows the federal civil-rights case has little merit and cannot be pursued, and thus wanted to shore up his bona fides with an aggrieved black community; and 3) as with the ginned-up “assault-weapons ban” and the claim that Republicans are waging a “war on women,” Obama knows, as a community activist, that tension can mask culpability – in his case, the utter failure to address soaring unemployment in the inner city, epidemic black murder rates, the bankruptcy of Detroit, and the ways his failed economic policies disproportionately affect inner-city youth.

Expect today’s speech, and any followups (I suspect this economic push will, at best, survive till his August vacation, but probably only till the end of July) to be heavy on community organizing, blamestorming, pushing his bona fides with Progressives, and ginning up division. Heck, even Ben White at the Politico notices much of this in his 5 things to watch article

How hard will he go after Republicans on the debt ceiling and government funding?

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One argument for why Obama is doing this speech now: He’s laying down an early marker as the sane voice ahead of potentially bruising fights over bills to fund the government after Oct. 1 and to raise the debt ceiling sometime in November or later.

So, blamestorming and ginning up division yet again, provided he does this. The Vegas odds are 1-1 based on 5 years of being (NM) president, which, as Ben White notes, creates even more antipathy amongst Republicans, guaranteeing they do not want to work with Obama.

How bullish will he be on the economy?

Any speech the president gives about this frustrating economy runs the risk of sounding like cheerleading a recovery that most average Americans are barely feeling.

Remember all the times he’s declared victory on the economy? Recovery Summer, anyone? Remember all the pivots? Remember $838 billion wasted on his failed Stimulus? And all the other stimulus plans? How about all those who have given up on the jobs market in despair? Add your own “how about”, because we’ve seen the creeping malaise of the Obama economy for 5 years. Unlike Mr. White, I don’t expect Obama to note the stagnant wages and poor jobs market, except possible in terms of Blaming Others, especially Republicans.

How will he make the case for his economic legacy?

Another rationale behind the speech is to lay down a stronger narrative arc for the president’s stewardship of the economy, an area in which voters have often questioned his abilities.

Will he do this? It certainly wouldn’t be out of character to make this All About Obama. He spent his first term Blaming Bush, but he got his second term, and this is all on Obama. This is his economy. He can’t rationally sit there and Blame Bush and Republicans while taking credit for the few good things that happen.

Will he offer specific new proposals?

Messages out of the White House on this have been mixed.

In reality, most are expecting very little from this speech in terms of actual policy, particularly new policy. It will surely be a re-hash of all the things that have so far not worked. We’ll probably hear something about growing the economy from the dying middle class out, not top down, because we all know that it’s the middle class with all the money. Of course, even now the middle class is seeing more and more people on food stamps and other government assistance thanks to the Malaise Economy Of Obama.

What role will immigration and health care play in the speech?

One big question about the current jobs and economy tour is why Obama is doing it rather than continuing to push hard on the top current agenda items: implementing health care reform and getting a comprehensive immigration reform bill through the House.

Now that is a damned good question. Will PBO make this economic speech about the two issues? Will they be the real reason behind this push? Or is Obama simply trying to give yet another speech in an attempt to switch the focus from all his scandals and incompetence? Really, unless he has some new ideas on the economy, there is little point to Mr. Lame Duck giving a “major policy speech”. Yet, he will. But, then, Obama has always thought that all that needs to be done is to give a speech and the world changes.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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