John Boehner, who is likely to become the next speaker of the House, went on Sean Hannity’s radio show Wednesday to offer a preview of what to expect:
“This is not a time for compromise, and I can tell you that we will not compromise on our principles,” Boehner said….
As for Obama’s own agenda, Boehner promised, “We’re going to do everything – and I mean everything we can do – to kill it, stop it, slow it down, whatever we can.”
Four out of five Americans want compromise. The Republicans don’t dare even entertain compromise. This is playing right to Obama’s strength. He will come across as calm, rational and reasonable. The Republicans will either come across as angry and aggressive, or they will deeply disappoint their own base.
Obama will also have history on his side. As National Journal points out, presidents who lose control of Congress in their first midterms tend to gain a political advantage:
“It’s occurred three times in the past 100 years, and in each case the minority party that took control watched the supposedly vanquished president win reelection just two years later. First, Harry Truman in 1948 (after losing 55 House and 13 Senate seats in 1946); second, Dwight Eisenhower in 1956 (after losing 18 House and two Senate seats in 1954, creating Democratic majorities that would last in the Senate until 1980 and in the House until 1994); and finally, Bill Clinton in 1996 (after losing 54 House and eight Senate seats in 1994).”