Moving to repair a deep rift with leading CEOs, President Barack Obama plans to speak at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event next month and the two sides are trying to work out details, White House and Chamber officials said Saturday.
The talks mark a dramatic rapprochement between the Chamber, which spent tens of millions of dollars in the midterm election to defeat Democrats, and the president, who openly criticized the “world’s largest business federation” for accepting contributions from undisclosed donors.
White House Deputy Communications Director Jen Psaki said: “Economic recovery is the most important goal for the president and working with all of the stakeholders — including the Chamber of Commerce — on export promotion, free and fair trade to grow the economy and create jobs is an important part of achieving that goal."
The overture is the White House’s clearest move to the center since the Nov. 2 elections, when independents sides decisively with Republicans. Democratic officials said the White House is looking for a variety of ways to lower the temperature with CEOs, some of whom have complained about Obama’s agenda and the White House’s treatment of business.
And just what kind of "centrist" peace offering will Obama make toward the Chamber of Commerce?
Well, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are big fans of Waiting for Superman and the kinds of free market-based reforms and union busting championed in that movie and by the education reform movement behind it.
Guess who else is a big fan of Superman?
If you guessed President Obama, you win a post-basketball game cigarette with the leader of the free world.
How much do you want to bet part of the peace process between the two parties involves the corporate-friendly Chamber of Commerce helping the corporate-friendly President Obama to plot market-based education reforms that bring more privatization to the public school system and put teachers unions on the defensive?