As the clock ticks down to zero hour for the Congressional Super Committee, President Obama is on a nine day relationship-building junket to Asia. Leaving town when Congress is struggling with issues crucial to the American economy has become Obama’s stock in trade. Prior to the Asia tour, he spent weeks on the campaign trail, ducking the difficult job of developing a meaningful resolution of the debt crisis. He did, however, use his electioneering to sharpen his divisive rhetoric, which accomplished nothing except to widen the partisan divide.
Oh, and one other thing. It clarified Obama’s re-election strategy. Like the sun rising in the east, he will, of course, continue to lob blame bombs in all directions. But, he’s also putting geographic distance between himself and Washington D.C. He places a lot of faith in the out of sight, out of mind maxim, hoping physical separation will dissociate him from the mess he’s helped create.
Obama’s re-election game plan should not come as a huge surprise, since it has a lot in common with his governance style. For the latter, he offers meaningless straw man proposals for chronic problems that can neither work nor be accepted. And when they aren’t, he casts aspersions on whomever for rejecting them.
The latest two examples are his “millionaires and billionaires” debt solution and his jobs plan. Both are non-starters because there's a lot more harm than the little good in them and so cannot responsibly be put in place. But, they’re great sound bites for those desperate for easy solutions to devastating dilemmas. Obama hopes enough of those folks are out there to keep him in the White House.
To be sure, Obama’s strategy, whether governance or re-election, is much easier than long hours at the negotiating table facing huge helpings of bitter choices. And at least part of that strategy is getting support from unexpected places. Democrat Congressman Heath Shuler, N.C., agrees that Obama should stay out of town.