The Campaign Spot

Jay Carney: ‘Leadership Is Not Proposing a Plan.’

White House press secretary Jay Carney argues, with a straight face, that leadership means waiting for House and Senate negotiators to come up with a plan:

TAPPER: OK. The House is passing something that many observers feel would never pass the Senate and the president has said he would veto. The Senate is passing — the McConnell-Reid plan, it’s not clear that that could pass the House. The Gang of Seven plan, it’s not clear that that could pass the House. Would this not be an opportune time for a president to lead and say, this —

CARNEY: Leadership is not proposing a plan for the sake of having it voted up or down, and likely voted down because it is — look, you know how this town works and how Congress works. If an individual, whether Democrat or Republican leader, steps forward and says, this is my plan and solely my plan, it makes it a lot harder for that plan to be the basis for a bipartisan compromise. The way to reach a bipartisan compromise is in bipartisan negotiations where a plan emerges that is the product of that negotiation and is supported by Republicans and Democrats and then presented. Otherwise, your chances of actually achieving something diminish greatly.

It’s good to know that the Obama doctrine applies to both domestic and foreign policy:

Obama may be moving toward something resembling a doctrine. One of his advisers described the president’s actions in Libya as “leading from behind.”

— Ryan Lizza, The New Yorker, May 2 issue

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