The White House seems to think blaming Republicans for not fixing the economy is a winning strategy. Or at least an enjoyable one. With the possibility of another recession in coming months, President Obama's best hope for getting reelected is to convince voters that the bad economy is all Republicans' fault. Last week he warned that he couldn't campaign against a "do-nothing Congress" if Congress does something about jobs, and that he hadn't seen a Republican jobs plan. On Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner released a summary of a private phone call with the president in which he somewhat passive-aggressively told Obama, "I want to make sure you have all the facts" and then listed Republican efforts to create jobs. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney responded Friday that the release just shows that Republicans "are coming under pressure from their constituents to do something on jobs and the economy ... [W]e're not just saying this is essential, their constituents are saying it," Talking Points Memo's Susan Crabtree reports. It looks like the White House is trying to expand that campaign against Congress.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a economics-themed speech two Fridays in a row; NBC News' First Read wonders if this is a new strategy to get cabinet officials to act as surrogates. Clinton told the Economic Club of New York today that foreign policy would be increasingly influenced by economic policy, and, oh by the way, "Washington has to end the culture of political brinksmanship -- which, I can tell you, is raising questions around the world about our leadership," CNN reports. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood condemned the do-nothing Congress on Friday, too, the Associated Press reports. LaHood told a conference that major infrastructure projects were stalled because "some people don't want Obama to be successful." LaHood continued, "A big percentage of the Republicans that were elected this time came here to do zero, and that's what they've done. ... Here we are almost 12 months from the election and there are some people in Congress -- look there are probably 40 people, 40 Republicans, elected to the House to come here to do nothing ... That's why they felt they were elected."