There are just 52 days left for Congress and the White House to hammer out a deal and avoid running the country off the proverbial “fiscal cliff.” What better time for President Obama to take a trip to Asia?

The negotiations will be difficult. Obama signaled he’s sticking to his demand for raising taxes on the wealthy. That’s long been a nonstarter with Republicans.

He will issue a statement today “about the action we need to take to keep our economy growing and reduce our deficit,” the White House said last night.

His chief political strategist, David Axelrod, said re-election gives Obama the upper hand.

“If the attitude is that nothing happened on Tuesday, that would be unfortunate,” Axelrod told MSNBC.

I know Axelrod is talking about Republicans here, but I wonder how he’d describe the president’s attitude?  Obama is acting as if he made no promises during the election, going so far as to say he’d wash John Boehner’s car if it would help negotiations.  Now he’s making a “statement” and skipping town?

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) yesterday took all tax-rate increases off the table, though he said Republicans would accept other revenue measures, such as closing loopholes and eliminating deductions.

“Raising taxes on small businesses will kill jobs in America. It is as simple as that,” he told USA Today.

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