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Presidential Pivot

11:55 AM, Feb 11, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
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The headline on Ron Fournier's National Journal story warns us to be alert for a "pivot" by the president in his State of the Union address.  It seems that regarding the president's Inaugural Address “the perception remains that Obama lost focus on the economy -- the top issue in the minds of most voters. So look for an address Tuesday tilted heavily toward policies pledging action on joblessness, growing the economy and expanding the middle class, White House officials said Friday.”

tws-F-obama wary.08

And when confronted by a disadvantageous "perception," what the adroit, modern politician does is "pivot."  That will fix the problem.

One does wonder, however, if the president and his team have new ideas on the economy to which he can "pivot" and seduce voters away from their "perception" that the president either isn't all that interested or doesn't have any answers.  Or both.  

This will, after all, be President Obama's fifth State of the Union and fair to say that the economy has been at the top of the voters' list of concerns every single time.  If the answers are there, waiting on that effortless "pivot," then why the long wait as unemployment held at 8 percent and above, food stamps usage and disability claims soared, student debt reached crushing levels ...

The answer, one suspects, is that the president and his team do not have an answer that they can sell to their own constituents.  A real "pivot" would take us back to some of the old paths as suggested by Amity Shlaes here.  Ms. Shlaes has a new book the subject of which is a president who said little and probably never once, in his entire political life, tried to "pivot."

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