Monday's announcement by President Obama that he wants Congress to extend tax cuts for middle class families earning under $250,000 for one year is a vivid demonstration of his campaign taking the initiative in the 2012 race.
At the time when the country should be focused on the tax increases from ObamaCare, the Obama campaign is now focused on a 1 year tax cut extension.
The president's one year tax cut is for Americans making under $250,000. Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) want the tax cut to apply to those making $1 million or less.
Of course, the president's tax cut announcement doesn't deal with long-term tax reform, the debt, the deficit, entitlements -- or any of our serious budgetary problems. But it does achieve the huge political advantage of seizing the initiative from Mitt Romney. Today's announcement changes the subjectand like the immigration initiative, puts Obama on the side of a popular, public position -- one that he has been vulnerable on.
Monday's announcemet is a huge win for the president and a clear indication that the Romney campaign was once again backfooted.
So where does Romney go from here? The candidate needs to introduce his own agenda, one that involves reducing taxes in a comprehensive and clear way and offering a path forward for economic growth.
So far he hasn't done it.
The 2012 presidential race is in a stalemate after what should have been a very bad month for the president. Unless and until Mitt Romney articulates a vision of his own, it's unlikely that he will be able to pull ahead of a tactically superior, yet politically weakened president.
Douglas E. Schoen has served as a pollster for President Bill Clinton and is currently working with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He has more than 30 years experience as a pollster and political consultant. He is also a Fox News contributor and co-host of "Fox News Insiders" Sundays on Fox News Channel and Mondays at 10:30 am ET on FoxNews.com Live. He is the author of ten books including,“Hopelessly Divided: The New Crisis in American Politics and What it Means for 2012 and Beyond” (Rowman and Littlefield 2012). Follow Doug on Twitter @DouglasESchoen.