President Obama is reportedly going back on the campaign trail briefly this week to promote a solution to avoid going over the "fiscal cliff."
The president will tour a manufacturing facility and give remarks in the southeastern Pennsylvania town of Hatfield on Friday, the White House announced Tuesday. The campaign-style trip comes as another example of the president building pressure on Congress through public support, rather than the behind-closed-doors approach used in last summer's debt talks.
Friday's trip will follow a week of meetings with other constituencies. He'll meet with small-business owners from across the country on Tuesday and host an event at the White House on Wednesday with "middle-class Americans who would be impacted" if Congress fails to reach a deficit-reduction agreement by the year's end.
My gut says this has less to do with passing a solution now and more to do with building political capital to pass a new middle class tax cut after the cliff has been jumped.
Right now the Republicans can easily refuse to extend tax cuts on only a select group of people, but after all of them expire, they will be forced to say no to passing a new tax cut that will benefit most Americans.
I've seen nothing to suggest the president won't ultimately get what he wants, because as things stand this looks more and more like a repeat of last year when the Republicans had no choice other than to extend payroll tax cuts after thoroughly embarrassing themselves beforehand.