As a policy/PR stunt, the spending freeze seems geared entirely around satisfaction of the Washington Post editorial page. In terms of political strategy, this seems odd.
Well, in fairness, the president also wants to please the Tribune editorial board and other
moderate centrist corporatist establishment voices who partied while Bush set the economy on fire and who are now pissed that the president can’t fix it by cutting taxes and fighting two wars and keeping inflation down (and if he can bring employment down to single digits, that’s swell but not as urgent as not frightening Wall Street).
Oh, right: The big news about the upcoming State of the Union speech is that the president will propose a three-year non-military discretionary spending freeze (which probably isn’t going to amount to more than a drop in the bucket). It’s not going over well.