There’s a little link at WhiteHouse.gov that takes you beyond the Obama videos, blogs and policy statements to a whitepaper — with detailed hard targets for Obama’s economic recovery plan. It’s a brilliant and risky chess move, and a model for how any business should break through the BOGSAT quagmire. (BOGSAT, as you’re surely used to, is a Bunch Of Guys Sitting Around a Table that jaw away at issues but never get anything done.)
Why does this work?
1. Specific targets build momentum. Obama’s own team is going to have to hustle if it is going to reach them. Metrics include saving 3 million jobs within two years, spending 75% of the plan’s funds in the first 18 months, doubling U.S. renewable energy capacity within 3 years, computerizing every American’s health records within 5 years … you get the point. Obama is telling his own team what they have to do, by when.
2. Obama’s critics now face a PR problem. Anyone critical of this plan — and with billions of dollars of stake, the plan deserves scrutiny — must contest the fact that it won’t save jobs or double clean energy, etc. The hard targets make a tougher argument to fight.
3. Any alternative ideas better have better targets. If an opponent has another approach, he or she will need to explain how that new plan will achieve better results. Obama, by setting forth specifics, is inviting his opposition to create even stronger ideas. Go ahead, but you better include a number.