Tales from the Trail

Obama 2.0 still a work in progress

USA-ELECTIONS/OBAMAA reboot of President Barack Obama’s White House, dubbed “Obama 2.0″ in a New York Times magazine article, is still showing the hourglass.

Many decisions about staff changes and other key issues are still far from resolved, but behind-the-scenes conversations continue.

Obama, who leaves for a 10-day Asia tour on Friday, will squeeze in time between summits and other events to huddle with aides over these issues.

“The president will, I think, no doubt spend time on the trip in Asia with both staff and with memos working through both reorganization as well as staff positions that need to be filled,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said. For example, the position of National Economic Council director being vacated by Larry Summers.

“The sort of notion of Obama 2.0 I think takes into account a lot of different things,” Gibbs said. “We’re only a few hours away from the election and I know (interim White House chief of staff Pete Rouse) and others here are working on a whole series of things that you would likely put under that umbrella.”

What changes will “Obama 2.0″ bring?

What will Obama 2.0 look like?

USA/President Barack Obama has given little hint of a major shift in his governing strategy following the midterm elections on Nov. 2, but Peter Baker’s piece in the New York Times magazine suggests changes are in the works.

But it’s not clear how far-reaching they will be.

Baker writes that Obama aides Pete Rouse, the interim chief of staff, and deputy chief of staff Jim Messina have been talking with the president about “Obama 2.0.”

The piece cites education, expanded trade and scaled-back energy legislation as areas that might lend themselves to bipartisan agreement. Baker also quotes Obama as saying that “regardless of what happens after this election” there will be room for bipartisan cooperation because Republicans will feel more responsible.
Obama’s decision to tap insiders for key staff roles, such as Rouse for chief of staff and Tom Donilon for national security adviser, had many assuming the White House was planning few changes to its strategy. That assumption might not be entirely correct.