Sunday, October 23, 2011

Let's Play Offense

Not sure how much he can do by executive order, but it's time.

With his jobs plan stymied in Congress by Republican opposition, President Obama on Monday will begin a series of executive-branch actions to confront housing, education and other economic problems over the coming months, heralded by a new mantra: “We can’t wait” for lawmakers to act.

According to an administration official, Mr. Obama will kick off his new offensive in Las Vegas, ground zero of the housing bust, by promoting new rules for federally guaranteed mortgages so that more homeowners, those with little or no equity in their homes, can refinance and avert foreclosure.

And Wednesday in Denver, the official said, Mr. Obama will announce policy changes to ease college graduates’ repayment of federal loans, seeking to alleviate the financial concerns of students considering college at a time when states are raising tuition.

Pass Mitch the tissues. He doesn't appear to have an answer for this one.

“The only way we can truly attack our economic challenges is with bold, bipartisan action in Congress,” said Dan Pfeiffer, Mr. Obama’s communications director. “The president will continue to pressure Congressional Republicans to put country before party and pass the American Jobs Act, but he believes we cannot wait, so he will act where they won’t.”

Privately, some Republicans worry that they could suffer from that line of attack. On Sunday the Senate Republican minority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, offered an alternate narrative, saying that Mr. Obama, for all his complaints about Republican opposition, had given little prominence to his signing of three free-trade agreements that won bipartisan approval this month.

“They’re ashamed to mention any of the things that they do with Republicans because it steps on their story line,” Mr. McConnell said on the CNN program “State of the Union.” “Their story line is that there must be some villain out there who’s keeping this administration from succeeding.”

Yeah. It's probably this guy.

"The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president" - Mitch McConnell, October 2010.

One initiative a week will be announced by the President; keeping Republican inaction in the forefront will be a good strategy. Whether the media will give this attention or not is another story, especially with the looming problems associated with Super Congress! right around the corner. Something tells me they will suck all the oxygen out of the room fairly soon.

But until then...