A version of this post appeared in The Edge, National Journal's daily look at today in Washington -- and what's coming next. The email features analysis from NJ's top correspondents, the biggest stories of the day -- and always a few surprises. To subscribe, click here.
President Obama walked into the White House press room on the 100th day of his second term and said, in effect, “have at me.” If there was an overall message he wanted to communicate, other than “See? I’m accessible,” it was hard to discern.
Topics ranged from Syria to Benghazi to Boston to Guantanamo to Obamacare. There was an I-told-you-so moment on the sequester (“The president's, you know, crying wolf. He's Chicken Little. The sequester? No problem”), a vigorous case for his health law, optimism on immigration and a budget deal, a bit of flash and fire as Obama reaffirmed his 2008 campaign promise to close Guantanamo. He even came back to the podium to express pride in Jason Collins.
Anyone who hoped Obama would expend some of his (ebbing?) "juice" or capital talking about how to improve the jobs picture was out of luck. A few days before the April jobs numbers come out, with young people struggling to start their work lives and long-term unemployment killing hopes and dreams every day, the operative press and presidential mode Tuesday on this basic issue seemed to be don’t ask, don’t tell.
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