Some say the steps taken by the president since winning re-election have been encouraging thus far for a more productive relationship, creating a sense among some that, even if the president and his team won’t acknowledge any prior mistakes, they’re at least ready to turn the page.
“I think it will be constructive, I think it has to be constructive,” said Bill Miller, senior vice president at the Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs at large U.S. companies. “I don’t think the president wants the economy to fail, and neither do America’s business leaders.”
Miller mentioned energy and regulatory policy as two areas where the business community and White House can hopefully see cooperation. But, in the eyes of some skeptics, happy talk about better outreach misses a more important point: Obama’s policies often collide with the private-sector’s interests. And those policies, said former George W. Bush aide Tony Fratto, are unlikely to change.
"There are some in the business community who want to believe this is a thawing in the relationship,” he said. “And the business community is being deluded if they do believe that. If they think there’s going to be some change in nature of how the Obama administration deals with them in terms of policy, then they are deluding themselves.”