The mainstream press has highlighted Obama's traveling campaign to scare Americans on the sequestration cuts.
What they have missed though, is he is not doing it to negotiate a deal before March 1st.
Instead he is foreshadowing what the affects will be after March 1st.
This is all about process and who gets blamed. The process is half-hearted negotiation. The blame in the coming months will be borne by the GOP. Why? The president is vastly more popular and seemingly more fairer. True? No, but perception is reality.
Even though the sequester was an agreement made by both parties in 2011 to force negotiation; Obama is framing the argument that the GOP only wants spending cuts and Obama wants revenue increases on wealthy Americans.
Obama's bet is that when the mandatory spending cuts hit; state governments and citizens will cry uncle. They have already been brainwashed into thinking the mandatory cuts are the fault of the GOP.
Then Obama will come to the rescue and cut a deal for a more balanced approach in spending cuts and tax revenues. After the pain is felt. After he told the American people he warned them.
Obama's bet is that when he comes to the budget rescue; his other legislative priorities - such as gun control and immigration - will ride a wave of his own political popularity.
Making a deal now only ensures both parties will share in the blame. And that can't happen if you are a lame duck president - with a one-year legislation window - and you want to pass legislation that is part of your desired legacy.
As I have said before, Obama is not a good chief executive. But he has proven, time and time again, he is a master politician. A bet against Obama is not wise. But people still consistently bet against him. And he has proven those bets to be misplaced.
February 27, 2013