Daily Archives: April 12, 2011

Interesting to see the White House trying to moderate expectations of Obama’s speech on Wednesday about deficits and debt. More was read into David Plouffe’s comments on the Sunday talk shows about this than seemed warranted to me. Nothing Plouffe said committed Obama to pronounce his own budget, just two months old, dead, which is what needs to happen. The mooted new initiatives are not new. They are perennial Obama themes. Tax increases on the rich? Already in the budget. Cost controls for Medicare? Already in the budget. But reporters sprang to the conclusion that the speech would make detailed new commitments–“Obama to act on entitlements”, and all that.

Now of course the White House has to contend with the disappointment that will follow the speech if it falls short of these inflated hopes. A nice challenge for the speechwriters. Hence the sudden change of tack. On Sunday, we heard that the president was about to lay out a new plan. By Monday, he was promising to call for a new plan. On Sunday, he already had a plan. On Monday, he wanted Republicans to help him write one.

Clive Crook’s blog

This blog is no longer updated but it remains open as an archive.

I have been the FT's Washington columnist since April 2007. I moved from Britain to the US in 2005 to write for the Atlantic Monthly and the National Journal after 20 years working at the Economist, most recently as deputy editor. I write mainly about the intersection of politics and economics.

Clive Crook’s blog: A guide

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