Maybe even if it weren't a general-election year, President Obama would still be proposing that Congress give him the power to merge federal agencies to make the government smaller and more efficient.
But the fact is it is the year in which the president is seeking re-election, a year in which both the eventual Republican presidential nominee and Obama's GOP opponents in Congress will assert hundreds of times before it's over that he is a big-government Democrat.
We've all heard the rule: Turn off your cell phone. Well, someone broke it this week at a performance of the New York Philharmonic.
(SOUNDBITE OF CELL PHONE RINGING)
GREENE: The iPhone Marimba ring tone had not been written into Mahler's Ninth Symphony. But there it was, chirping from the front row of the audience. The conductor was so incensed, he cut off the performance and waited for the iPhone to stop. The audience member was apparently not offered an audition.
(A new lede was put on this post at 11:30 a.m. ET.)
Saying "the government we have is not the government we need" and that it's still organized for the 20th Century, President Obama is asking Congress to give him the power to do some streamlining and merging of agencies that overlap.
"I'm calling on Congress to reinstate the authority that past presidents have had" to reorganize the government, the president just said at the White House. He pledged to only use the authority to make the government more efficient and leaner.