President Obama's 2011 To-Do List: Economy...Again

With President Obama's legislative victories behind him including health care, repeal of "don't ask don't tell," an arms treaty, tax rate deal, he's vowed to have a laser-like focus on the economy in the coming year...again.

At a press conference Wednesday before heading to Hawaii for a Christmas vacation he said, "And my singular focus over the next two years is not rescuing the economy from potential disaster, but rather jumpstarting the economy so that we actually start making a dent in the unemployment rate and we are equipping ourselves so that we can compete in the 21st century."

He also made similar statements in the past.

In April of this year, he said: "So while today's GDP report is an important milepost on our road to recovery, it doesn't mean much to an American who has lost his or her job and can't find another. For millions of Americans -- our friends, neighbors, and fellow citizens ready and willing to get back to work -- "you're hired" is the only economic news they're waiting to hear. And they are why the work of moving this economy forward remains our focus every single day."

And in November 2009, "So those are the discussions we're going to be having, not just today but in the weeks and months to come. This is my administration's overriding focus. Having brought the economy back from the brink, the question is how are we going to make sure that people are getting back to work and able to support their families."

He did note, it may not happen all that quickly. "It's not going to happen overnight, but we will not rest until we are succeeding in generating the jobs that this economy needs."

Those are just a couple of samples of the language the president has used in the administration focus on the economy and jobs.

Yet he seems to still take time to weigh on his other policy agendas, like health care, the DREAM Act (which didn't pass this year), and other legislative items.

And then there are always the breaking interruptions like the BP Oil Spill or scheduled distractions like the midterm elections.

In June during the oil spill crisis, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs noted that presidents can multi-task. "But the American people don't elect somebody I think that they don't believe can walk and chew gum at the same time. Sometimes it feels like we walk and chew gum and juggle on a unicycle all at the same time. I get that." In fact Gibbs and Obama have both wanted to point out to critics, particularly on the left who say they haven't done enough or caved too much, that they have been able to accomplish a lot and essentially should tone down the whining.

As president he of course is expected to do some multi-tasking, juggling security, overseas trips, and domestic policy.

Critics have charged that he shouldn't have put so much energy into things like health care which dominated his first year in office.

Of course there was the tax cut compromise, which did deal directly with the economy. And the president spent a good chunk of time on the road on his backyard touring - listening to average Americans about their concerns.

In 2011 the president has vowed to be honing in on the economy, but he has already stated that things like bringing up the DREAM act, dealing with Guantanamo Bay Detainees are on his to-do list as well.