According to Obama’s press secretary Jay Carney, “Obama obviously has a lot on his plate, but he continues to solicit information and advice from numerous folks outside the administration about the economy, about ideas he can act on with Congress or administratively.”
At this point, the hiatus — which reached the half-year mark Tuesday — might be less awkward than an official meeting, given the hornet’s nest of issues that could sting Obama and the council members if the private-sector panel gets together.
For starters, there’s the discomfort many business leaders may feel in appearing to embrace the president with his reelection bid in full swing.
Then, there’s the fact that some members of the commission have conspicuously declined to endorse him. And that Obama has conspicuously declined to endorse some of their recommendations. And that some of what Obama won’t endorse has been warmly embraced by Republicans, including likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
To cap it all off, several of the companies whose CEOs serve on the panel are involved to some extent in outsourcing — a fact that could undercut the ferocious attack Obama and his campaign are mounting on Romney over his alleged ties to the practice.
A spokeswoman for Romney’s campaign, Andrea Saul, criticized Obama for failing to meet more regularly with the CEOs on his Jobs Council.
“With a half-million jobs lost since President Obama took office, he would be well served to spend more time listening to job creators about what it’s going to take to get the American economy growing again,” Saul said Tuesday in response to a query from POLITICO. “Instead, he’s spent the last two weeks talking about raising taxes on job creation and attacking a central recommendation of his Jobs Council for fundamental tax reform of the kind Gov. Romney has proposed.”
There are other headaches as well.
Another executive on the council, Robert Wolf of UBS, works for a Swiss bank, reported by the Times’s Dealbook blog to be the next target of a Justice Department probe into the alleged manipulation of benchmark interest rates for mortgages and other loans. Wolf has also been pressured by other UBS executives to limit his appearances with Obama, the blog reported last month.
Excerpted from: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0712/78637.html