In just a little while, President Obama will deliver a speech laying out his ideas for dealing with the budget and the deficit. Politico, helpful as ever, has offered up the "7 things Obama needs to do" in this speech.
Let's take a look at what they prescribe. From the second paragraph:
He needs to reassure his liberal base but signal to Republicans that he's open to compromise. He needs to show he can get serious about cutting the budget but sustain the economic recovery. He needs to set out a sharply different vision than House Republicans but keep them at the table.
OK. Some might say Obama's already shown more than enough willingness to compromise with Republicans, but whatever.
Here's what they say three paragraphs later.
Let's face it, no matter what Obama says Wednesday, he won't go far enough to satisfy most Republicans.
So he needs to reach beyond Washington and lay out the case to voters, who care about the deficit -- but not as much as job creation, according to the polls.
Um, if that's the that's the case, then why does he need to show "he's open to compromise"? This is all very confusing.
And it gets worse. A few paragraphs later:
Beat up on Rep. Paul Ryan
Or his budget plan, at least.
To Democrats, this is a no-brainer. Republicans want to privatize Medicare, the most popular government program around. It's already been incorporated into the campaign strategy books of Democrats around the country, including the president's.
So the president, who has said very little about the Ryan budget, needs to make the moral case for Medicare, Democrats said.
So he's supposed to "beat up" the Republican plan, while at the same time showing a willingess to "compromise" and ignoring the GOP altogether. It's that simple!
I can't imagine how Obama pulls off this absurd trifecta, but if he does, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see tomorrow morning a Politico article on Obama's muddled message to Republicans.