More speeches, photo ops, and minor policy modifications will not save the flailing Obama presidential campaign. He needs to produce a drama, an event that will highlight the core of his message in ways that will deeply speak to the public and stay with it. I am not speaking of drama for drama's sake, to grab headlines, but for a showdown on a very real issue. In effect the number one issue: the way the gridlock in Congress prevents the economy from recovering, by not enacting the jobs bill and blocking a deficit cutting deal.
To proceed, Obama should pull a Truman. In 1952 the United States economy was threatened by a strike by the steel workers, whose employers refused to make a deal. (In those days, steel was a crucial commodity for a well functioning economy.) When the strike dragged on and on, President Truman invited the head of the steel workers union and a representative of the steel industry to the White House. On arrival they were told "this is not a social visit." Truman informed them that he would keep them in the White House until they struck a deal. It was reached the same day.
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