Whatever the real reason for the timing, it’s interesting that President Obama decided that this week was the moment–when consensus is gelling that Mitt Romney is the all-but-inevitable GOP nominee–to announce a very Romney-esque cost-cutting plan.

At a White House event complete with business CEOs as props and a slide presentation (the kind Bain Capital once perfected), the president urged Congress to give him the power to merge a plethora of trade and commerce functions that are now dispersed among the Commerce Department, the Small Business Administration, the U.S. Trade Representative, the Export-Import Bank; the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the Trade and Development Agency. The consolidation would save some $3 billion and 1,000 to 2,000 jobs over ten years, the White House said.

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