The First Draft: Assessing the first six months
It won’t be a conversation over beer in the Rose Garden, but today President Barack Obama gathers his Cabinet together across the street at Blair House to talk about the first six months of their term.
With public opinion polls showing support for Obama and for his main legislative priority — healthcare reform — waning, the president retreats with his Cabinet this weekend to talk things over.
Six months ago Obama and his family lived at Blair House for a couple of days before he was inaugurated as the 44th president.
The mood might be different today. Maybe the president and his deputies will be trying to figure out a better way to sell the healthcare overhaul to Americans. Obama has been making nearly daily appearances over the past few weeks in campaign-style events, interviews and statements, opinion polls show Americans are afraid healthcare change will hurt them.
The gathering of the Cabinet takes place as lawmakers prepare for their month-long August recess, without reaching a deal on healthcare reform.
It also comes just as administration officials say the government’s $1 billion “cash for clunkers” auto sales incentive program reached its funding limit much earlier than expected — just weeks after it was launched. The White House is working with Congress to try to extend funding.
Obama has no publicly scheduled events today. Most meetings are with advisers and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, with the exception of a closed-door lunch with business leaders at his private dining room in the White House.
Photo credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque (Blair House)