The rhetorical question headlining some of tonight’s new reports is whether the President’s speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce will result in a thaw in his relationship with the business community. My guess is that his relationship with the bulk of major corporate CEOs is pretty good and doesn’t need much thawing. They are, on the whole, a savvy group who are nothing if not politically pragmatic. The hullabaloo about smaller government, lower taxes and less regulation is for public consumption, and not to be taken too seriously otherwise. Their lobbyists and friends throughout the government have their back.
So the remaining question is whether the administration’s relationship with the Chamber, as one of the more strident public voices of the business community, will improve. That misses the point altogether. As a carnivorous organization that desires to feed itself as much as possible, it knows that food comes to it most readily when it has prey to hunt. There will be some skillful crowing in their marketing about how powerful they have become to make the President of the United States come to them on bended knee. It will be just enough crowing not to anger the administration too much, not to totally cut off their new found access to the White House, but enough to generate new members and higher dues.
Then it will be back to attack, because attack is their game. The worst years for the Chamber are when the nation has a president such as GW or RR. When the owner of the attack dog is safe in the house, and the dog is well fed, there is not much for it to do except snarl now and then at passersby.