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Obama agenda: Cruel summer

Politico: “The politics of the debt fight were a drag for President Barack Obama, yanking his popularity to new lows. Here’s an even bigger drag: Obama emerges from the months-long fracas weaker – and facing much deeper and more durable political obstacles – than his own advisers ever imagined.”

The New York Times says it’s likely that Treasury Secretary Geithner will stay in his job, despite an earlier suggestion that he might leave after the debt debate was over. “Mr. Obama and his chief of staff, William M. Daley, have been urging Mr. Geithner to stay, administration officials say, not only for continuity when the economy has weakened and to avoid an all-but-certain confirmation fight in the Senate over a successor, but also because Mr. Obama has developed a close rapport with Mr. Geithner.”

“Although Obama doesn’t turn 50 until Thursday, his visit [to Chicago] symbolized presidentially and politically a need to turn the corner following weeks of bruising debate over raising the nation’s debt ceiling and cutting the country’s deficit,” the Chicago Tribune writes, adding, “The toll of that fight on Obama’s presidency, particularly in light of his 2008 election mantra of change in Washington, gave a special emphasis to what has become a standard in his early re-election campaign — a request for patience.”

“President Barack Obama told supporters at a hometown fundraiser last night that the debt ceiling debate in Washington ‘sets the stage’ for the 2012 election,” Bloomberg reports. “ ‘This episode was just a severe example of what has been going on for quite some time, and it’s part of what led me to run for president,’ he told about 100 donors at a dinner on the eve of his 50th birthday at a Chicago concert hall. The events of the past two weeks, he said, illustrate ‘not only how tough it’s going to be, but exactly what’s at stake.’”

Valerie Jarrett, a senior advisor to President Obama, will visit Columbia, South Carolina next week for a fundraiser for Gen44, the under-40 branch of the Obama fundraising effort, The State newspaper reports. Obama defeated Hillary Clinton to win the state in the 2008 primary but lost to John McCain by 10 points in the general election.