In a way, the president conceded on Wednesday that his critics had been right for months: Obama's strategy for effecting change is to run a non-stop campaign. He's giving as many as eight speeches over the next couple months, with one on infrastructure in Florida on Thursday. In his speech in Illinois, Obama made clear why he was doing it. It takes two to legislate, and the House of Representatives refuses to budge. The risk Obama faces is that Americans don't really seem to want to dance, either. 2013 is no 2012.
Over the weekend, the president's advisors started pitching Wednesday's speech at Knox College. On Sunday, Politico reported, Obama's communications chief Dan Pfeiffer sent an email to White House reporters with subject line, "I don't normally do this."
Hey everyone, I don't usually write emails like this … But I just finished reading the draft of a speech the President plans to deliver on Wednesday, and I want to explain why it's one worth checking out.
Perhaps that draft speech differed from the one that was delivered, but the verdict on the speech itself was largely that it trod well-worn ground. The Washington Post put it well: "You could be forgiven if you thought you had heard President Obama’s speech on the economy today before. Because you have. For most of the 2012 campaign." Which, as we pointed out, was part of the point: get people refocused on Obama's campaign goals.