Reporting the release of the new Obama agenda two weeks out from the election, CNN’s Jessica Yellin came out visibly annoyed: “There’s not anything significantly new in here, it’s just all compiled in a nice booklet now.”
Here’s the video:
What’s remarkable here is that if the president’s campaign were confident in the narrative coming out of the foreign policy debate, they wouldn’t be changing the subject with a “new plan,” or a new repackaging of an old plan. They’d be talking about Romney’s inexperience and poor judgment and poor showing in the debate. They’d be talking up how Obama killed Bin Ladin, kept GM alive, and that you can’t know the kind of crazy future Mitt Romney might herald.
This doesn’t mean that they think they lost this debate. They just see it as a wash that can’t move this campaign forward. But here’s how that strikes me: For a sitting president to come away from a debate on foreign policy and have it show as a wash — with all the things that Obama has claimed as his strengths in foreign policy, that seems to be a bit of a problem. The president should have won the foreign policy debate hands down. He didn’t, and his campaign knows he didn’t, so now they’re moving on to a new topic.
… In fact, for these booklets to be so abundant, they had to have planned this ahead. Is it possible that they were so worried about how this might have gone that they prepared to change the subject just in case?
There is little new in the plan Obama is touting today — much of it is a repackaging of proposals he has been offering on the campaign trail for months, such as plans to use half the savings from winding down wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for domestic infrastructure investment; create incentives for companies to bring jobs back to the U.S. (and end tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas); continue investing in “clean” energy; recruit 100,000 new math and science teachers.
Worth asking though: The writer says “much of it is a repacking of proposals…” What portion of it is not? What’s in there we haven’t already heard? (WaPo has finally updated their post to say “There are no new proposals in the plan Obama is touting.”)
Update 2: CBS newscasters look crestfallen when hearing that an Ohio focus group of independents made up their minds last night for Romney. Maybe this is the kind of information that’s reaching the ears of the Obama campaign.