Even with the selective editing afforded the White House by major news outlets, President Barack Obama hasn’t fared well of late in the public eye.
A cavalcade of Constitutional assaults on firearm ownership, privacy and State sovereignty, coupled with a series of elitist, out-of-touch endorsements of regressive social reform proposals before Congress, have distanced the President from leading the public’s attention back to the talking point central to the agenda that led him to two election-year victories: the economy.
So this week, Obama will launch a refocusing effort, embarking on a campaign he’s dubbed the “Middle Class Jobs & Opportunity Tour.” The jobs tour is supposed to take the President to States and cities across the country whose employment and economic successes (and, presumably, failures) illustrate something germane about freeing Americans to innovate, work and prosper.
Except for his first stop, scheduled for Thursday, the full itinerary hasn’t been revealed. But to kick off the campaign, the President’s first stop will find him speaking in Austin, Texas, where the local economy’s on fire.
What he’ll say there is anybody’s guess, but don’t be surprised if Obama attempts to co-opt the success of Governor Rick Perry’s low-regulation approach to business in a strange obfuscation of what has worked in Texas and what the President thinks will work going forward. Taking pro-growth success stories and attributing them to untested or discredited policies he’d like to implement wouldn’t break character for a President who has a serial habit of confusing outcomes with approaches.
You can see it already in Obama’s PR statements, which displace to the Legislative branch his recent policy defeats and pat the Administration on the back for what success America’s relatively Obama-free zones — like Texas — have enjoyed.
“Even though some in Congress are determined to create more self-inflicted economic wounds, there are things Washington could be doing right now to help American businesses, schools and workers,” said Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest. “We need to build on the progress we’ve made over the last four years, and that means investing in things that are already creating good-paying, stable jobs that can support a middle class family.”
Press Secretary Jay Carney, who was unable to fully conceal the Administration’s provincial take on the lands west of the Capital, said: “Out in the country, there are positive things happening, and that only reinforces the need for Washington to do some very simple things to help facilitate economic growth and job creation.”
The Perry approach to fueling the Texas economy involves getting out of the way of people who have good ideas and want to profit from them. Low taxes, a relaxed regulatory environment, a State budget that doesn’t bloat and, most importantly, an underlying philosophy of governing that understands jobs come not from government innovations but from the free market: That’s the essence of Texas’ economic success that, if Obama is honest with himself, he’ll have to acknowledge when he sets foot in the Lone Star State tomorrow.
Perry’s office greeted news of Obama’s Austin visit with a Texas-friendly “duh!”
“If President Obama is serious about getting our nation’s economy working again, then he’s come to the right place,” Lucy Nashed, the Governor’s Press Secretary, told National Review Monday. “Texas’ success didn’t happen by accident — it’s a result of policies put in place under Governor Perry’s leadership with a laser focus on making Texas a beacon of economic freedom.”