President Obama will pivot back to jobs tomorrow when he heads for New Hampshire, a swing state that he is hoping to win again in 2012 despite his current unpopularity there.
Obama will argue for congressional passage of an extension of a payroll-tax break that is scheduled to expire at the end of the year. This provision was part of Obama's larger jobs bill that has died on Capitol Hill. Now he is trying to get it passed piecemeal. Democratic strategists say Republicans are blocking key elements of the bill, including the payroll-tax extension, because of misplaced priorities and a desire to deny Obama a political victory.
The Democratic strategists also say the GOP also wants to protect tax breaks for the wealthy and big corporations at the expense of the middle class. [Check out our editorial cartoons on President Obama.]
While Obama was on his nine-day Asia-Pacific trip, which ended yesterday, he was berated by Republicans in Congress and by GOP presidential candidates for scurrying around the world while there were important things to do at home, such as working with a congressional "super committee" to reduce the deficit. That committee appears to be hopelessly deadlocked, and its failure has made it more important than ever for Obama to appear to be trying to get things done despite Republican intransigence, Democratic advisers say. So he is jetting off to New Hampshire.
There's also a campaign-related reason for going to the Granite State. Obama trails Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney there, and he wants to close the gap.