But definitely not good for the Chamber.The White House, which has waited for the Chamber to begin playing a more constructive role, has decided to pursue a different approach going forward.
The White House and congressional Democrats are working to marginalize the Chamber of Commerce -- the powerful business lobby opposed to many of President Barack Obama's first-year priorities -- by going around the group and dealing directly with the CEOs of major U.S. corporations.
Since June, senior White House officials have met directly with executives from more than 55 companies, including Chamber members Pfizer, Eastman Kodak and IBM.
"We prefer the approach -- particularly in this climate -- where the actual people who are on the front lines, running businesses, trying to create jobs, come and advise us on policy," senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett told POLITICO in a not-so-subtle effort to portray the Chamber as out of touch with business reality.
Valerie Jarrett talked a bit about a conversation she had with Chamber president Tom Donohue about the campaign.
"He came in and we chatted and he said, 'I think that, for example, your financial regulatory reform might have a chilling effect on business growth.' So I said well you supported the Recovery Act, yes. You support the federal taxpayer subsidy going to the banks, yes. You supported the subsidy going to the auto industry, yes. So now suddenly you want the free market system? I couldn't reconcile those two positions."
"He said, 'Well, I don't think we need those checks and balances.' And I said yes you do, we have concrete evidence that you do because without them the taxpayers ended up carrying the burden."
Good for the White House.
Not to mention, where there's injury, you'll often find insult, and the CoC got its insult in spades:
You've done been punked.A press release sent out under the banner of the Chamber of Commerce, announcing a major shift in the group's position on climate change, is a hoax.
J.P. Fielder, a spokesman for the Chamber, confirmed the hoax to TPMmuckraker. He said the Chamber was unaware of who was behind it.
And the prank was apparently so convincing that Reuters ran with the story without bothering to verify its veracity, which might possibly have affected the stock market. Awesome, eh?
If you want to congratulate the pranksters, here they are.
It's hard to see how things could get much worse for the Chamber, but I'm sure things always can. Pop the popcorn and be ready, my darlings.
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