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A New Agenda?

12:03 PM, Dec 18, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
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Walter Shapiro, writing in the The American Prospect, makes the case for second term agenda of jobs and economic growth. Not exactly original but, certainly, passionately argued.  

Whatever the president’s frustrations, too many Americans are suffering right now for Obama to abandon the effort to create jobs. Thirty-seven months is longer than the fabled one thousand days granted to John Kennedy. Thirty-seven months was enough to carry America from Pearl Harbor to the cusp of victory over Germany and Japan.  

Even if the political pundits busily handicapping 2016 would love to resurrect Samuel Beckett to write a sequel called Waiting for Hillary, we still have a long arc of the Obama presidency. And after five years mired in the economic doldrums, the president should know what Job One has to be for the remainder of his tenure in the Oval Office.

Meanwhile, the president appears to be pivoting to “income inequality,” which Ezra Klein sees as a mistake and, even, a cop-out:

I find that people in politics simply find joblessness, at this point, frustrating and sad. They want to move on from it because they don’t see worrying about it further to be either politically advantageous or obviously productive. Most voters are employed, and there aren’t the votes to do something new about joblessness anyway.

The president has, meanwhile, hired a new (sort of) consigliore, John Podesta, and as Glenn Thrush of Politico writes, 

According to interviews in recent weeks with an array of Obama insiders and a dozen current and former senior aides, Podesta’s hire is explicitly meant to shake things up inside the White House. In effect, I was told, it represents the clearest sign to date of the administration’s interest in shifting the paradigm of Obama’s presidency through the forceful, unapologetic and occasionally provocative application of White House power.

Leaving in the dust Shapiro’s naive suggestion that:

What Obama needs to find are Republicans that he can work with on a three-year crusade to create jobs. 

Mr. Podesta, you see, doesn’t have much use for Republicans and believes, as he told Thrush, that the Obama team needs:

“… to focus on executive action given that they are facing a second term against a cult worthy of Jonestown in charge of one of the houses of Congress.” 

Gonna be a long three years. 

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