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Politico: Barack Obama's Bolder Approach to Debt Courts Independent Voters

Author: David Rogers
July 7, 2011


Politico reporter David Rogers explores Obama's bold debt strategy, which calls for $4 trillion of debt reduction in 10 years, rather than $2.4 trillion — a dollar-for-dollar match for the debt ceiling increase due in August.

As President Barack Obama meets Thursday with fractious House and Senate leaders, his new bolder approach to debt reduction reflects a political strategy aimed at independent voters but also is raising alarms among fellow Democrats.

With June's unemployment figures due out Friday, success or failure will be measured most by the impact on jobs and the economy. But after being slow to the gate, the president's handlers are clearly trying to portray him as the leader willing to put everything on the table to cope with the debt issue and get past the partisanship dividing Washington.

Thursday morning's papers were laced with allusions to tax reform and even making changes in Social Security. David Plouffe, the president's 2008 campaign manager and now senior White House advisor, has seemed to move past the president's economic team as a lead behind-the-scenes voice enunciating the administration debt strategy. And in a replay of tensions seen in April's government shutdown fight, White House chief of staff Bill Daley — who has a strong business background — is playing an increased role, roiling the waters in Congress given his past record of jumping ahead of Democrats and making concessions to House Speaker John Boehner (D-Ohio).


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