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Just More Words: On The Job

- July 26, 2012

Worried More About Keeping His Job, Obama Forgoes His Responsibilities To Americans

OBAMA HAS MADE CLEAR THAT KEEPING HIS JOB IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN MAKING SURE AMERICANS CAN FIND JOBS

Obama Is On The Job, Turning White House Staff Into Regulars At His Campaign Headquarters

Some Of Obama's Senior White House Aides Are "Making Regular Appearances" At His Campaign Headquarters "Tightening The Link Between The White House And The Re-Election Effort." "Some of President Barack Obama's most senior aides have begun making regular appearances at his campaign's Chicago headquarters, tightening the link between the White House and the re-election effort as the race intensifies." (Peter Nicholas and Carol E. Lee, "Obama Aides Play Campaign Roles," The Wall Street Journal, 7/25/12)

  • "Top Aides Pete Rouse And David Plouffe Have Been Spending About One Day A Week At The Campaign's Offices, Senior Obama Advisers Said." (Peter Nicholas and Carol E. Lee, "Obama Aides Play Campaign Roles," The Wall Street Journal,7/25/12)
  • "Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer Made A Trip To Chicago This Week And Is Expected To Spend About One Day A Week At The Headquarters As The Campaign Season Picks Up." (Peter Nicholas and Carol E. Lee, "Obama Aides Play Campaign Roles,"The Wall Street Journal, 7/25/12)

Obama Officials Say The Appearances Don't Reflect "Discontent With The Campaign's Operations." "White House officials and the Obama campaign said the presence of the men at Obama headquarters doesn't suggest discontent with the campaign's operations." (Peter Nicholas and Carol E. Lee, "Obama Aides Play Campaign Roles," The Wall Street Journal, 7/25/12)

  • "But Others Close To The Campaign Say Mr. Rouse In Particular Has Been On Hand To Support Campaign Manager Jim Messina, Who Hasn't Before Run An Organization As Large And Complex." (Peter Nicholas and Carol E. Lee, "Obama Aides Play Campaign Roles," The Wall Street Journal, 7/25/12)

Obama Is On The Job, Holding Weekly Reelection Strategy Meetings

Obama Holds Weekly Reelection Strategy Meetings At The White House With Both White House And Campaign Officials. "Mr. Obama has created a semblance of that, holding regular meetings on Sundays in the Roosevelt Room of the White House to talk about his re-election effort. Senior White House aides attend, and campaign officials from Chicago fly in for the occasion." (Peter Nicholas and Carol E. Lee, "Obama Aides Play Campaign Roles," The Wall Street Journal, 7/25/12)

"With Election Day Five Months Off, The Campaign Increasingly Appears To Consume Mr. Obama's Days And His White House, Shaping His Schedule, His Message And Many Of His Decisions." (Peter Baker, "Obama Finds Campaigning Rules Clock," The New York Times, 5/28/12)

"On Most Sunday Evenings" Obama Meets With A "Tight Circle Of Advisers Who Gather For A Confidential Briefing On His Reelection." "President Obama walks into the Roosevelt Room of the White House and takes his seat around a table. The West Wing, as on most Sunday evenings, is quiet except for the tight circle of advisers who gather for a confidential briefing on his re-election." (Jeff Zeleny, "On Sundays, Tight Obama Circle Sizes Up Election," The New York Times, 5/4/12)

  • "The President Is Immersed In What It Will Take To Win A Second Term." "The gathering often takes place after Mr. Obama's regular Sunday round of golf, and while the atmosphere is casual, the agenda is anything but: keeping the president immersed in what it will take to win a second term. He receives an update on how his operation is expanding in battleground states, he watches previews of television ads and he studies a presentation on his various paths to victory." (Jeff Zeleny, "On Sundays, Tight Obama Circle Sizes Up Election," The New York Times, 5/4/12)
  • The Sunday Meetings Are Held "Nearly Every Other Week Just Across The Hall From The Oval Office." "These previously undisclosed sessions, which take place nearly every other week just across the hall from the Oval Office, are designed to bridge a divide between his campaign headquarters in Chicago and his aides in Washington in preparing for what Mr. Obama and his team anticipate will be a grueling race with Mitt Romney."  (Jeff Zeleny, "On Sundays, Tight Obama Circle Sizes Up Election," The New York Times, 5/4/12)
  • Obama's Sunday Sessions Also Include "A Mix Of White House Staff." "The attendance roster, which was confirmed by multiple people familiar with the list, reveals a mix of White House staff, including: David Plouffe, a senior adviser and campaign manager from 2008; Jack Lew, the chief of staff; Valerie Jarrett and Pete Rouse, senior advisers; Dan Pfeiffer, the communications director; and Alyssa Mastromonaco, a deputy chief of staff who has worked for Mr. Obama since his days in the United States Senate." (Jeff Zeleny, "On Sundays, Tight Obama Circle Sizes Up Election," The New York Times, 5/4/12)
  • The Campaign Team Includes Campaign Manager Jim Messina, Senior Strategy David Axelrod, Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter, And Top Political Adviser Larry Grisolano. "The campaign team includes: Jim Messina, the campaign manager, who sets the agenda for the meeting; David Axelrod, a senior strategist; Stephanie Cutter, a deputy campaign manager; and Larry Grisolano, a top political adviser." (Jeff Zeleny, "On Sundays, Tight Obama Circle Sizes Up Election," The New York Times, 5/4/12)
  • Obama "Craves Bullet-Point Summaries Of Polls." "Mr. Obama has told associates that he is aware of the precariousness of the political environment for him. He asks aides about his campaign message. He craves the bullet-point summaries of polls, but he does not delve deeply into the weeds of surveys or other campaign research." (Jeff Zeleny, "On Sundays, Tight Obama Circle Sizes Up Election," The New York Times, 5/4/12)

Obama Is On The Job, Taking His Campaign Press Secretary Along With Him

Obama Now Takes A Campaign Press Secretary On Official Trips. "There have been internal changes as well: A new traveling campaign press secretary now accompanies Obama on trips alongside White House spokesman Jay Carney to brief traveling journalists." (Amie Parnes, "New Urgency For Team Obama," The Hill, 7/12/12)

  • "President Barack Obama's White House Is Taking A New Approach To Straddling The Tricky Legal Line Between Governing And Campaigning: The Tandem Press Briefing." ."(Josh Gerstein, "Tandem Press Briefings," Politico, 7/11/12)
  • Obama Campaign Traveling Press Secretary Jen Psaki Joins White House Press Secretary Jay Carney On Political Trips. "Starting last week, Obama for America traveling press secretary Jen Psaki joined White House Press Secretary Jay Carney when he was briefing reporters aboard Air Force One during Obama political trips." (Josh Gerstein, "Tandem Press Briefings," Politico, 7/11/12)

Obama Is On The Job, Filming Campaign Commercials In The West Wing

Campaign Finance Experts And Good Government Groups Agree That Obama's Decision To Film His Latest Campaign Commercial In The West Wing Was "Not Particularly Commendable." "President Obama's newest campaign commercial was filmed inside the West Wing of the White House, an act that campaign finance experts and good government groups generally agreed was legal if not particularly commendable." (Jake Tapper, "New Obama Ad Was Filmed In The West Wing," ABC News, 7/24/12)

"Meredith McGehee, Policy Director Of The Campaign Legal Center, Said The Obama Appearance Was Legal, But It Was 'An Unwise Politicization Of The Highest Office In The Land.'" (Jake Tapper, "New Obama Ad Was Filmed In The West Wing," ABC News, 7/24/12)

  • McGehee: "I Find It A Bit Disturbing That He Would Do It In The West Wing Office." (Jake Tapper, "New Obama Ad Was Filmed In The West Wing," ABC News, 7/24/12)

Obama Is On The Job, Making Fundraising Pleas From Air Force One

On A "Highly Unusual (And Presumably Legal) Fundraising Pitch From Air Force One," Obama Pleaded With Donors Who Maxed Out In 2008 But Haven't Yet Donated In 2012, To "Send Money - And Send It Now." "President Obama sounded weary and maybe a tad worried late Friday during a rambling conference call with campaign donors whom he repeatedly begged to send money-and send it now. 'The majority on this call maxed out to my campaign last time. I really need you to do the same this time,' the president said in a highly unusual (and presumably legal) fundraising pitch from Air Force One on his way back to Washington from Colorado Springs, where he'd been assessing the terrible damage caused by uncontained wildfires. A special phone on the government aircraft is dedicated to political calls that are paid for by the campaign."(Lloyd Grove, "Exclusive: President Obama Asks Campaign Donors To Send Him More Money," The Daily Beast, 6/30/12)

  • "'I'm Asking You To Meet Or Exceed What You Did In 2008,' The Presidential Pitchman Continued, Speaking To Donors Who Were Invited To Dial In Based On Their Contributions During The Last Election." (Lloyd Grove, "Exclusive: President Obama Asks Campaign Donors To Send Him More Money," The Daily Beast, 6/30/12)
  • The Obama Call "Affirmed The Campaign's Anxiety About Lagging Behind In The Money Race." "Leaked details of a plaintive phone call from President Obama to some of his biggest donors this weekend offered a rare and revealing look into the typically private rituals of big-dollar campaign fundraising. The pitch also affirmed the campaign's anxiety about lagging behind in the money race. In the conference call made late Friday from a special campaign phone on Air Force One, a recording of which was obtained by the Daily Beast, Obama bemoaned the anonymous super PAC donations flowing to his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney. 'If things continue as they have so far, I'll be the first sitting president in modern history to be outspent in his reelection campaign,' he said, according to the report." (Emily Heil, "Obama Campaign Call Affirms Money Anxiety," The Washington Post, 7/6/12)
  • Obama Addressed "Concerns That Some Supporters Might Be Less Enthusiastic - And Generous - Than They Were Four Years Ago." "Obama was candid and contemplative in the 18-minute call with donors who had given him the maximum allowable amount in his last campaign, addressing concerns that some supporters might be less enthusiastic - and generous - than they were four years ago. 'In 2008 everything was new and exciting about our campaign,' Obama told the unidentified donors, according to the Daily Beast. 'And now I'm the incumbent president. I've got gray hair. People have seen disappointment because folks had a vision of change happening immediately. And it turns out change is hard, especially when you've got an obstructionist Republican Congress.'" (Emily Heil, "Obama Campaign Call Affirms Money Anxiety," The Washington Post, 7/6/12)

WITH OBAMA AND HIS WHITE HOUSE SO FOCUSED ON REELECTION, WHO IS LEFT TO ATTEND TO THE ECONOMY?

Obama Is On The Job, Avoiding His Jobs Council For Over Six Months

JANUARY 2012: Obama Boasted About "How Focused And How Hard-Working" His Jobs Council Was, Claiming That It Was Not A "Show Council." OBAMA: "One of the things that's been striking about this Jobs Council is how focused and how hard-working everybody has been around this table. This has not been a show council. This has been a work council. And because of the extraordinary commitments that each and every one of you have made, we have generated I think as good a set of proposals as we have seen coming out of the private sector to help to guide and steer our economic agenda and our approach to jobs and growth over the next couple of years." (President Barack Obama, Opening And Closing Remarks By The President To The Council On Jobs And Competitiveness , Washington, DC, 1/17/12)

NOW: Obama Has Not Met With His Jobs Council In Six Months Because He Has "Got A Lot On His Plate." REPORTER: "So there's no reason they [the Jobs Council] haven't met publicly?" WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY JAY CARNEY: "No, there's no specific reason except the President's obviously got a lot on his plate." ( White House Press Conference , Washington, D.C., 7/18/12)

Obama Is On The Job, Cancelling His Economic Daily Briefing

THEN: The Daily Economic Briefing Was The First Announcement That Then-Press Secretary Robert Gibbs Made At His First Press Briefing On January 22, 2009. ROBERT GIBBS: "I'm great. Before I take a few of your questions, let me start out by letting you know something that we've added each day to the President's daily schedule. It's something that we're calling an Economic Daily Briefing that he'll receive most likely in the Oval Office each and every day. It will be treated and prepared with the same sort of renowned professionalism that the Daily Intelligence Briefing is done with. It is -- will be put together -- each night the President will receive a memo. It will be updated in the morning. The briefing will be led by NEC Director Larry Summers." (Robert Gibbs, Press Briefing, 1/22/09)

NOW: The Last "Economic Daily Briefing" Listed On The Official White House Schedule Was Held On April 26, 2011. (The White House, Accessed 7/23/12)

Obama Is On The Job, Making The Concerns Of Main Street Somebody Else's Concern

WHAT OBAMA SAID: President Obama Said That The Economy Was His "Overriding Focus." OBAMA: "This is my administration's overriding focus. Having brought the economy back from the brink, the question is how are we going to make sure that people are getting back to work and able to support their families." (President Barack Obama, Remarks By The President During The Meeting Of The President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board , Washington, D.C., 11/2/09)

WHAT OBAMA SAID: "I Told You … I Would Wake Up Every Single Day, Every Single Day And Spend Every Waking Hour Thinking About You." (President Barack Obama, Remarks At A Campaign Event, Jacksonville, FL, 7/19/12)

WHAT HAS REALLY HAPPENED: Obama Has "A Scattershot Record (At Best) Of Focusing On The Main Concern Of Main Street: Joblessness." "Obama arrives at his reelection campaign not merely with a weak performance on Wall Street crime enforcement and reform but also with a scattershot record (at best) of focusing on the main concern of Main Street: joblessness." (Frank Rich, "Obama's Original Sin," New York Magazine, 7/3/11)

"[E]ven After Winning The Presidency, Obama Was Loath To Accept That The Economy Was Singularly Important" And Disregarded Calls From Timothy Geithner For It To Be The Immediate Focus.  "But even after winning the presidency, Obama was loath to accept that the economy was singularly important. During a conference call with several senior aides early in the transition, Geithner remarked to his new boss that 'your signature accomplishment is going to be preventing a Great Depression.' … Even so, Obama's response was slightly jarring. 'That's not enough for me,' said the president-elect." (Noam Scheiber, The Escape Artists, 2012, p. 15-16)


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