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Senate Defeats Obama's Jobs Bill

By Alexis Simendinger - October 12, 2011

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Obama sat at a table with four unemployed workers from the building trades, plus Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, at the Harp and Celt Restaurant and pub. “You guys are what this country’s all about,” Obama assured the patrons before asking them to share tales of the current economy.

The focus on “real people” who are searching for jobs and would potentially benefit from congressional action on the American Jobs Act is a feature of the White House campaign to “just pass the bill.”

Hours before the Senate vote, White House press secretary Jay Carney advised reporters that the administration had been describing “real people from across the country” on the White House website on Tuesday -- people who would be impacted if Congress does not pass a jobs measure. Carney said the president and his team also tapped Twitter to focus (in 140 characters or less) on a job-seeking individual every hour.

The Senate vote was not a surprise to the president, and few congressional analysts expected the divided parties in Congress to come together to back a new stimulus measure. But to keep the issue alive as a political battle cry, Democrats may try to float provisions of the president’s jobs plan in the next few weeks to cast conservatives in Congress as too ideologically in lockstep to try to assist 14 million Americans who are unemployed.

The president believes that his continued campaigning to condemn congressional Republicans has helped him among voters who are upset about economic woes and unsure of his leadership. Republicans in Congress are getting low marks.

Obama’s ideas may have been defeated in the Senate Tuesday, but he holds out hope that he will still win by losing.

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Alexis Simendinger covers the White House for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at asimendinger@realclearpolitics.com. Follow her on Twitter @ASimendinger.

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