“Controlling the message: Why Obama has the PR upper hand in sequestration battle”

English: President Barack Obama and Vice Presi...

English: President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden shake hands in the Oval Office following a phone call with House Speaker John Boehner securing a bipartisan deal to reduce the nation’s deficit and avoid default, Sunday, July 31, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


By Tom Curry, National Affairs Writer, NBC News

As head of the executive branch, and as the man who dominates media coverage, President Barack Obama has a strong and unique advantage over his Republican foes: he’s got the power to control both the practical details and the theatrics of the ongoing sequestration debate.

He can design the spectacle in a way that could inflict political embarrassment and damage on Republicans, with the goal being to pressure them to agree to another round of tax increases.

Those hikes would be part of a deal to avert the spending cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act, which Congress passed and Obama signed into law in 2011 as part an agreement to raise the government’s borrowing limit.

RELATED: GOP could pay political price on sequester

As part of that sequestration plan, $1.2 trillion in federal spending will be cut over 10 years, totaling $44 billion for the period beginning March 1 and ending in October.