Obama’s path to re-election: do nothing?

Today is a pretty darn exciting one, so I thought I would counteract the slightly gloomy tone of my post earlier this week.

In it I blogged about how low President Obama’s start-of-election-year poll numbers are in historical terms. But there is reason to be a little optimistic. It seems from recent experience that maybe Team Obama’s best strategy for holding on to the White House is… to do nothing.

Yesterday saw two bits of good news. First, Barack started his attack – in the form of the first TV commercial of the Obama 2012 campaign – and second, more detail from the Washington Post-ABC News poll which suggests that voters still overwhelmingly blame Bush over Obama for the state of the economy (54 compared to 29 per cent).

But most hopeful – if not exactly most edifying – was the news that the President achieves most by doing nothing at all.

Last week the White House announced plans to merge a number of overlapping government agencies into one. The general thrust of the idea has received a very positive response, including from many Republicans, but that’s partly because no details for anyone to disagree with – a name, for example, for the new agency – have been put forward.

The clever bit is the way the President’s team asked for authority from Congress to quickly proceed with the plans in a streamlined way, thus basically ensuring that it’ll never go anywhere despite being A Good Idea.

This is a continuation of the strategy Obama began with his address to Congress last year about jobs and, whilst rather negative as a tactic, would seem to be a pretty smart move in light of the lingering bad reputation of the Bush years.


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