Another day, another bully-pulpit moment choreographed by a White House determined to see tax rates go up for the top 2 percent of taxpayers. And that sound of gnashing teeth you hear is Republicans expressing frustration that they are getting beat again and again in the public-relations game around the looming fiscal cliff – $607 billion in spending cuts and tax hikes that go into effect at the end of the year if Congress doesn’t act.
"The president has to show up and negotiate,” Rep. Charles Boustany (R) of Louisiana told CNN on Wednesday. “He needs to quit running around the country, sit down across the table from the speaker, get the Senate majority leader in the room, and they need to start working.”
It’s been a month since Election Day, but in a way Obama hasn’t stopped campaigning. He held an East Room press conference on Nov. 14. He made a campaign-style trip to a toy factory in Pennsylvania on Nov. 30 to demonstrate the risk of fiscal-cliff uncertainty during the holiday shopping season. His White House set up a Twitter hashtag – #My2k – aimed at gathering stories from Americans about what $2,000 (i.e., 2k) means to them. So far, 375,000 people have responded, including Santana.
Obama has also held meetings at the White House with CEOs, small-business owners, average Americans, and a bipartisan delegation of governors. His outreach to the private sector also included a speech Wednesday to the Business Roundtable.