During the presidential campaign of 2012, an online commentator observed that President Obama had not met with his Jobs Council for six months. How could this be, the commentator asked, when jobs were foremost on the president’s agenda? The answer was not hard to discover.
The Council was headed by General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt, a noted Obama political backer. Other members included Penny
Pritzker, an heiress who served as Obama’s fssinance chairwoman in 2008, and Richard Trumpka, president of the AFL-CIO, one of the largest Obama campaign contributors. The group was established after the 2010 mid-term election losses as a device to emphasize the administration’s focus on jobs but, more importantly, to recognize political allies and campaign donors and prepare for the 2012 presidential election. This was more or less acknowledged when, after the president’s re-election, it was disbanded, despite the persistence of high unemployment.