An ominous sign regarding Obama’s agenda for the second half of his term: he’s seeking to counter his “anti-business image” by “reaching out to CEOs” and lobbyists. BusinessWeek reveals:
President Barack Obama is preparing new overtures to business that may start with a walk into the headquarters of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a retreat with corporate chief executive officers, according to people familiar with his plans.
The Obama administration has been at odds with the Chamber, which fought Obama’s health-care and financial regulatory overhauls and committed $75 million to political ads in the midterm congressional elections, mainly directed against Democrats. The CEO summit would be a way to address complaints from some executives that the Democratic administration is anti- business.
The Chamber had invited Obama to speak on Dec. 2 and the administration hadn’t yet replied when the Chamber canceled the event, said an administration official. The cancellation wasn’t related to the president’s potential participation, said a Chamber official who declined to be identified.
The nation’s biggest business lobbying group has since invited the president to speak in January. The administration is considering the new invitation, which would place Obama at the Chamber shortly before he delivers his State of the Union address, said an administration official.