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Change the Subject

11:06 AM, Nov 25, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
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George E. Condon Jr. at the National Journal delivers a piece of Beltway analysis that is sure to gladden the hearts of all those living and working (or looking for work) out beyond the Potomac. The insider news is that, while the Obama administration has been through a bit of a rough patch, there is a way to turn things around. David Axelrod, the ace insider, sees it like this:

They've sort of hit the nadir, and the website is going to get better. I think you see signs of that already …If you look back, right from the beginning of the year, there has been a series of events—shootings, natural disasters, international events, the shutdown, and the self-inflicted wounds of the website—all of those have conspired to take him off the main message.

And what might that "main message" be?

The economy of course.  So the administration would like to change the subject (pivot?) from a discussion of Obamacare (nothing more, really) than a bum website and it’s getting better) and get everyone talking about the economy.  Again.

President Obama, Condon writes, has “always benefited from reminding Americans that jobs are his highest priority.”


"That," says Axelrod, "is home base. But it is very hard to deliver that message in a sustained way when events keep taking you off. So you have to have the discipline to stick with your message." Additionally, he acknowledges, you have to understand that you can't control news coverage. "As intent as the media is now on this health care issue, it is hard to get to other issues.

The health care thing is distracting, no question about it.  But one does wonder just how the administration plans to frame its main message, come State of the Union time, and account for the fact that the percentage of the work for actually employed is at a 35 year low. 

With jobs being the president’s “highest priority.”  

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