POLITICS

President Barack Obama's speech on jobs gives chance to face down critics

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"Americans are sick and tired of the partisan bickering" in the capital," Carney said. He argued that Obama's aim is to "focus on things we can do" to spur the economy.

The White House budget office on Thursday is expected to provide revised budget forecasts and the Labor Department on Friday will release new August unemployment numbers. The two sets of data will highlight Obama's challenge: addressing short-term demands to increase jobs and shore up the economy while minding long-term budget deficits.

In seeking a joint session of Congress to deliver his plan, the president is turning the effort into a public relations campaign.

Emphasizing that strategy and illustrating the fine line between governing and political campaigning, Obama issued a plea through his presidential campaign late Wednesday calling for public support in holding Congress accountable.

In an email, Obama said he would deliver details of his jobs plan to Congress next week. "Whether they will do the job they were elected to do is ultimately up to them," he wrote. "But both you and I can pressure them to do the right thing."

The email asked supporters to provide their name and email addresses, a mobilizing tactic useful both to push for legislative action and to build a foundation for his re-election.

White House officials say not all details of the president's address have been decided, though he is expected to lay out proposals to increase hiring with a blend of tax incentives for business and government spending for public works projects. At the same time, White House officials say, he will offer long-term deficit reductions to make up for any upfront spending.

The dispute over the timing of the speech created an inauspicious start to the jobs debate and introduced tensions before Congress even returns from its annual summer recess.

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