He knows that little if any of his agenda will become law unless Democrats take control of the House and Mrs. Pelosi becomes speaker.
When Mr. Obama’s voters went to the polls, no doubt many, if not most — especially tens of millions of unemployed or underemployed Americans — thought he would refocus his agenda on reviving jobs and the sluggish, lackluster economy.
By now, however, it has become painfully clear that he won’t be making the jobless economy a major focus of his second term. He will be playing political attack games on a new set of issues and campaigning full time to put Democrats in full control of Congress again.
Mr. Obama “would like nothing more than to have complete liberal control of Congress for his last two years in office,” says Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck. “Just look at what he’s doing now. He’s not even negotiating at this point. It’s purely political theater.”
For all intents and purposes, Mr. Obama has washed his hands of the economy and jobs, issues that a majority of Americans cite as their greatest concerns but have been the biggest failures of his presidency.
Instead, two headlines in The Post starkly reveal what the president’s plans are for this year and next: “Obama sees 2014 as key to legacy,” and “Obama to shift focus to different priorities,” followed by a secondary headline, “Amid fiscal stalemate, he turns to gun control, immigration changes.”
If you harbor any doubts about Mr. Obama’s game-playing tactics as he heads into the midterm election cycle, Exhibit B reveals how the president and his top advisers invented scare stories in their efforts to pin the sequestration cuts on congressional Republicans, or announced faux budget-cutting actions before the sequestration deadline.
Even before one dollar had been cut from any budget, the Obama administration announced that hundreds of illegal immigrants in detention facilities were let go to save money.
A typically ugly claim, apparently made up out of whole cloth, came from Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Feb. 24, “There are literally teachers now who are getting pink slips, who are getting notices that they can’t come back this fall.”
The Post’s intrepid Fact Checker Glenn Kessler dug into this claim, which Mr. Duncan made three times, and found it was absolutely false. Mr. Duncan’s failing score for making things up: Four Pinocchios.
Donald Lambro is a syndicated columnist and contributor to The Washington Times.