Obama’s Invisible Second-Term Agenda

Posted by on Sep 04, 2012 at 8:39 am

The easiest way to trip up a Democrat in Charlotte for the national convention is to ask him to answer this question: What is Obama’s vision for a second term?

The placeholder answer, of course, is “creating an economy built to last.” But this talking point has, even to Democrats, begun to wear thin. It’s often repeated, but lacks definition.

“Nobody really knows what that means,” said Joe Trippi, a Democratic strategist who handled Jerry Brown’s gubernatorial campaign in 2010. So even though Obama’s reelection slogan is “Forward,” there’s not much talk—at least not yet—of what the country would move forward toward, or of the specific policies that Obama would enact to propel the nation up and out of the current low-wattage economic recovery.

Would it include comprehensive immigration reform? Would it include tax reform? Would it include changes to Medicare and Medicaid beyond those in the 2010 health care law? Would it include any effort to limit greenhouse-gas emissions? Would it include any sustained effort to reduce poverty among African-Americans?

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