I suspected last week, when Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, rolled out his incomplete bank bailout plan that he did so because it was on the schedule and nothing was going to move it. Today's much lauded piece in the Washington Post
confirmed my suspicion. I spoke with a former Clinton Treasury official who was amazed that the Geithner thing got dumped just at the time when Obama could have been taking a victory lap for getting the stimulus deal all but closed. (This was before the Judd Gregg withdrawal but that's another matter.)
The larger point here is the administration's deeply ingrained habit of sticking to the schedule. That instinct served them well during the campaign when they didn't respond to every idiotic event and stuck with their plan. Pressure to attack Hillary Clinton more viscerally or to sign on to the gas tax holiday? Fuggedaboutit. Stick with the plan. But the tendency to stick with the plan has it's downside as we saw with Geithner's less-than-stellar roll out. Over the weekend, David Axelrod said that the stimulus signing was long scheduled to be out of town but was there really a need to give the right ammunition for delaying the signing of a bill that Obama said was urgent? The right's point is goofy. The money couldn't have gone out the door over a federal holiday. Still, the optics aren't great.
Back to my original point, sticking to the schedule isn't always wise.