Health Care Fight Delays…And Delays…Obama's Other Campaign Priorities

President Obama speaks before he signs the HIRE Act jobs bill in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Thursday, March 18, 2010. (AP)

President Obama speaks before he signs the HIRE Act jobs bill in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Thursday, March 18, 2010. (AP)

For 14 months -- nearly a third of his elected term in office -- President Obama has been fighting an almost constant battle to pass a health care reform bill. During that time, dust appears to have settled on many of his other campaign priorities, in particular immigration overhaul, energy reform and a comprehensive jobs bill.

-- Despite Obama's promise to reform the immigration system in his first year, Congress has yet to introduce a bill.

-- Climate change legislation barely passed the House last June and has stalled in the Senate ever since. 

-- Though Obama just signed into law a package of tax breaks and spending designed to encourage the private sector to start hiring again, he admitted the bill is "by no means enough."

The same applies to a series of other issues:

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-- More than a year after Wall Street greed and excess led to the biggest financial meltdown since the Great Depression, Senate Democrats just introduced a financial reform bill this week.

-- Obama's proposed $3.8 trillion budget, which he released last month, has been placed on a back burner.

-- Several of the president's nominees to federal positions are waiting for confirmation hearings. Sixty-four nominees are pending in the Senate. 

-- As of Dec. 31, the number of top positions vacant in the Obama administration was about 40 percent, according to a report by the Partnership for Public Service.

The administration's singular focus on health care reform has left political observers scratching their heads.

"It's a strange White House," said GOP strategist Matt Schlapp, a former White House director to President George W. Bush.

Schlapp told FoxNews.com that the administration is "too focused on one fight" and "not multitasking."

"What's on deck? There's nothing on deck," he said, describing the White House as having a "crisis mentality" that is unable to focus on other issues.

Schlapp said the Bush White House employed an overarching strategy to its agenda, focusing on a sequence of bills instead of just one.

"What we did always led to the next battle," he said. "In this White House, it seems they say, 'I've got to go here because this guy is undecided on health care.'"

The president is so focused on closing the deal on health care, he postponed his trip to Asia so he can stay in Washington for a possible vote on a bill in the House on Sunday.

"The president believes right now the place for him to be is in Washington, seeing this through," his press secretary, Robert Gibbs, said on Thursday.

Gibbs said once debate has ended, the administration will quickly shift its focus to overhauling Wall Street.

"We will wake up a week or two weeks from now with the need to get credit flowing to small businesses," he said. "We will discuss financial regulatory reform so the rules of the road are different than what caused the type of greed and risk taking on Wall Street. So we will wake up and there will be more to do. I think that's true and safe to say about every day you're here."

Democratic strategist Martin Frost, a former Texas congressman, told FoxNews.com that he believes Congress will be able to pivot back to a jobs agenda "very quickly" if health care reform passes.

He said Obama's slow pace at enacting his agenda doesn't worry him.

"It's hard for a new president often to get things done as quickly as he wanted," Frost said, noting that Bill Clinton had similar problems in his first two years in office. "Even though he had to deal with a Republican Congress after that, he got better the longer he was in office."

Frost said he believes the White House should focus on jobs to the exclusion of everything else after health care is resolved.

"I don't think immigration overhaul is in the cards. I think it's too hard," he said. "Energy remains too hard. But there's opportunity for the president to accomplish other things."