Paul Krugman flags a recent talk by former White House economic advisor Christina Romer and grimly notes that it was not just heartless, evil Republicans who were more worried about deficits than unemployment.
However, in reading through her speech I am struck by her caution and diminished expectations for Obama:
I was thrilled that the President finally spoke about the long-run deficit and presented a comprehensive plan for dealing with it. I was listening to the speech in the car and found myself clapping when I should have been driving. It comes after both the report of the bipartisan commission and the proposal of the House Budget Committee, chaired by Rep. Paul Ryan. Reaching an agreement will obviously be incredibly difficult. The President’s leadership is likely to be essential.
His leadership is "likely" to be essential? I would not have imagined a deal could come together without him. Prior to 2013, natch.
FWIW, she lauds the results of Obama's deficit reduction commission, although Obama walked away from it.