The President had a talking point list he seemed determined to slip into today’s press conference at some stage of the Q &A in the East Room. Looked at objectively, its actually quite a brilliant tactic to go this route in a press conference forum – and one he has proven extremely effective at implementing - still give the speech just make it appear as if you’re responding to questions. It seems more real; it comes across as unscripted; and it gives the Press Corp what they want – an opportunity to hear their own voice(s).
So here’s a rough list of what I plucked out from this press conference.
1. He is “humbled”… BUT this wasn’t about rejecting his legislative agenda – it was about frustration with economy – economy, economy, economy!! Okay, so maybe he’s not really humbled since he still reminded the crowd that he “inherited” the bad economy – which is to be mentioned hereafter as an “emergency.”
2. Repealing Obamacare is not on the table. It will not be “revisited.” He is willing to compromise on specific shortcomings like the 1099 provision giving small business owners nightmares. “We’re not going to re-litigate the issues of the last two years” – even though we just spent two years re-litigating the eight years of the Bush administration.
3. The “green economy” is still the talking point of town for the Left moving forward – this appears to be the engine the President will use to drive negotiations with Republicans regarding tax cuts, tax break extensions, and the like.
4. The President continued to drive home the message that he has every intention of seeing tax cuts extended to middle class families and to “those that provide incentives for businesses to invest” – the latter may have been a throw away line or could have been a sign he may be willing to work with Republicans to extend all of the Bush tax cuts since he knows he may have to or use the Veto to strike down a bill sent forth by Republicans.
5. The EPA is going to play a huge role in post-election politics – losing the House may signal a strategy change with the EPA as the “vehicle” used to bring about greenhouse gas regulation. The President also mentioned the “court order” which gives extra credence to the agency’s power to regulate and said we must “not ignore the science, find ways to solve these problems that don’t hurt economy. Good luck with that.
5A. Mentioning the EPA extensively should be a sign to all Americans of what the next year has in store for them. With the legislative machine having been dissembled, the President will be forced to rely upon the agencies of the Executive Branch to do his bidding. The EPA will be one avenue, but it will not be the only one. Reintroduce yourself to Cass Sunstein (our “Regulatory Czar) -The Socialization of America…Part One Obama, Part Two Sunstein
6. The President is going to travel more in the new year – how nice – especially since he began campaigning TODAY for 2012.
7. All that “stimulus” talk was a reaction to an “emergency.” It was in no way reflective of an underlying ideology or plan to reshape or restructure the United States of America – In essence, he’s saying, “Just forget about that “fundamental change” business I said back there.”
8. He wants to focus on “things we can agree on” – education (?), some tax cuts, clean energy, technology investments, job creation – sounds like small potatoes / far cry from first two years. I could go for that – save for the education business. What role does the federal government have in that?
9. He will “listen” to the Right. Related note: Boehner said he will “listen” to the Left. Related Question: Who the Hell is going to do the talking? Joe Lieberman?
10. He is a human after all… In speaking at the close of the presser, he said “Now I’m not recommending that every president take a shellacking like I did last night…” Aww. He really gets it.
So what’s the reality here? Will this president really move to the Center?
You want the short answer or the long one?
The Short version…. NO