Analysis: Obama is using the permacampaign to change Washington from the outside

Carolyn Kaster/AP

Already, it feels like he's back on the trail. Just a month after the election, as the fiscal cliff approaches, President Obama has held just one meeting at the White House with Speaker John Boehner in the last three weeks, yet has taken the time to go to Pennsylvania and Virginia and chat with suburbanites and business owners. From the outside, he's building the consensus that he's looking for in Washington.

On Thursday, he held a photo op with a teacher's family at her apartment in suburban Virginia, telling a small camera crew about the importance of extending the current tax rate for a family's first $250,000 of earned income and raising the rate for incomes above that. A week earlier he spoke, jacket off and shirt sleeves rolled up, before 350 people on a toy-factory floor in Pennsylvania, telling the self-described middle-class Americans to call on Congress to prevent a middle-class tax hike. Republicans and Democrats "already all agree, we say, on making sure middle-class taxes don't go up," he said, "so let's get that done." He told cameras and the crowd to write and call members of Congress and to post on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #My2k ($2,000 is the estimated size of the tax hike on a middle-class family's income if the tax provisions are all allowed to expire). And then to back it all up, on Monday afternoon he spent a little less than an hour answering questions on Twitter about the subject. He took eight questions in all, though one was about the Chicago Bears.

The confines of 140 characters are tight, and it was hard to discuss nuanced fiscal policy in those limits. That wasn't really the point of the exercise, though. Obama didn't want to convince opponents he was right; he wanted his supporters to agree with him. He wanted to release some talking points into the echo chamber of the Internet and have them bounce around for a while. He wanted to trend.

Read more at The Atlantic.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.