Pulling out all of the stops the President will appear on five news shows this Sunday and then guest star on Monday's Letterman.
Having laid back for so long on the health care debate and then falling somewhat flat in his Wall Street appearance calling for financial reform, there is a lot of ground to make up.
The health debate has been beaten to death but some sort of bill will be produced and victory declared, but it will be a weak sister compared to expectations when it all started.
In his recent speech calling for financial reform the President recommended a consumer finance protection agency and a systemic risk regulator. The objectives may be noble and necessary, but they are coming late. Rahm Emanuel, Chief of Staff to the President, said that a crisis should never be wasted. But as the financial crisis ebbs and the markets heal, the feel for urgent action dissipates. It is going to be very hard to muster the troops for any focused action as political inertia overcomes all. The arguments that we have enough regulation on the books and that it needs to be enforced more rigorously, or that we have an alphabet soup of regulators now and what good will more do will gain adherents, especially if the stock market keeps climbing.
The news flow on Wednesday included a report on Industrial Production. It registered a decent advance of +.8% and even taking out autos, IP was up .4%. This would confirm the strong Empire Manufacturing report the day before and also provide support to Uncle Ben's statement the other day the recession is over.
The Consumer Price Index for August was up an expected .4%. The "core" advanced .1% and the year over year headline loss was -1.5%. That compares to the prior month's decline on a year on year comparison of -2.1%, although the last three months showed an annualized gain of +1.4%. Capacity utilization was also announced for last month and while off the bottom reached in June at 68.1%, it is still more than 10 points below its five year average and well below the longer term average of 81.2.