As part of his final push leading up to the November 3 elections, President Obama plans to make an aggressive case that his policies are finally turning the economy around and call on voters to expand his "Obama coalition" from 2008 and apply it to economic policy.
"You're going to see the president talking about the economy and how he put in policies that have us back on the road to recovery," says Josh Earnest, a White House spokesman. Obama will argue that his aggressive actions have stabilized the financial markets, kept the mortgage crisis from getting worse, and prevented a recession from becoming a depression. He will acknowledge that the unemployment rate remains high, at 9.8 percent, but will say his policies will eventually create more jobs.
Over the next two weeks, the president will campaign vigorously for candidates who share his priorities, Earnest says. In terms of individual races, Democratic strategists say his top priorities are helping New Jersey's Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine to win re-election and putting Virginia gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds over the top to keep that statehouse in Democratic hands. Obama is scheduled to stump for Corzine Wednesday at Fairleigh Dickinson University and for Deeds next week.
Fund-raising also is high on Obama's list. He will headline events Tuesday in Manhattan for the Democratic National Committee and Bill Owens, a Democratic candidate for Congress in New York's 23rd District, where a special election will be held November 3. Owens is seeking the seat of Republican Rep. John McHugh, who resigned to become Obama's secretary of the Army. On Friday, Obama will campaign and raise money for the 2010 re-election campaigns of Sen. Chris Dodd in Connecticut and Gov. Deval Patrick in Massachusetts.