Some plan

It's almost certain that President Obama released his agenda, titled "The New Economic Patriotism," the night before a Donald Trump blockbuster announcement designed to derail Obama's reelection. He had to have been hoping dearly the Trump stink-bomb would take all the oxygen away from any second-day stories about the "plan for jobs and middle-class security" the campaign published. It's not just that the plan is the first voters have heard of any Obama has for his second term — two weeks before Election Day — but that the brochure is about as cheesy a cheap shot as they come.

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Unfortunately for Obama, Trump's pathetic gambit failed to trump the headline that Obama is trying to pass off recycled retreads as new plans and that he was forced to do so after losing the first presidential debate to Mitt Romney, plunging in the polls and sending Democrats into a state of nauseated panic. How, they asked the campaign, could the president possibly win a second term in such a tight race without having outlined an agenda for the next four years? And so an eleventh-hour glossy appeared to answer the charge that Obama had nothing in mind for 2013-2017, with pretty pictures and pabulum to prove it. Brace yourself, the plans include a tax plan that cuts the deficit and creates jobs, energy made in America, a reminder of all that is good about ObamaCare, a pledge to stop Medicare or Social Security from being privatized, reviving manufacturing, investing in education and growing small businesses.

But just as the Obama campaign packed up the new pamphlet, hot off the presses, to send it to more than 3 million swing (they hope) voters in the seven remaining battleground states, Obama blew it, telling the Des Moines Register of his ambitious plans that don’t appear in "The New Economic Patriotism." See, he thought their conversation was off the record, so he spoke the truth. Later, when the campaign came under fire for it, they told the Register it could publish the interview.

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♦ Opinion: Brent Budowsky: Morning in Ohio
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♦ Opinion: Dick Morris: Debates within the debate
♦ Opinion: Juan Williams: Debunking GOP's false Libya narrative


Not only did he boast that he would reach a grand bargain with Republicans on tax reform and deficit reduction, Obama dared to predict he could get immigration reform to his desk and signed into law. He even mentioned that Latinos, disappointed by the broken promises of immigration reform in Obama's first term and stunned by the administration's record number of deportations, are key to his potential victory on Nov. 6. Obama actually told the paper, when he thought they were off the record (whatever that means for a president of the United States when giving an interview to a battleground-state paper less than two weeks before Election Day), that Republicans will want to join him in the endeavor should Romney lose. "Since this is off the record, I will just be very blunt. Should I win a second term, a big reason I will win a second term is because the Republican nominee and the Republican Party have so alienated the fastest-growing demographic group in the country, the Latino community," Obama said. "George W. Bush and Karl Rove were smart to understand the changing nature of America. And so I am fairly confident that they're going to have a deep interest in getting that done."


You would think those Latinos Obama is counting on to show up to the polls for him would like to know the president plans on pushing hard on immigration reform and even bringing enough Republicans on board to get it passed into law. You would think Obama would have had an agenda to sell on the stump months ago. You would think if they were pressured into putting in the effort and printing such a plan that the president wouldn't let himself talk about other plans in an interview and try and keep it secret. You would think two weeks from Election Day Obama knows what he should do to win. But he doesn't seem to be thinking straight.