Obama’s agenda for next two years: Total control as a lame duck

If you didn’t catch the Washington Post’s story over the weekend about how President Obama intends to spend much more time this year and next year campaigning for Democrats to retake the House, give it a read. Here’s the gist of it:

Obama, fresh off his November reelection, began almost at once executing plans to win back the House in 2014, which he and his advisers believe will be crucial to the outcome of his second term and to his legacy as president. He is doing so by trying to articulate for the American electorate his own feelings — an exasperation with an opposition party that blocks even the most politically popular elements of his agenda.

Obama has committed to raising money for fellow Democrats, agreed to help recruit viable candidates, and launched a political nonprofit group dedicated to furthering his agenda and that of his congressional allies. The goal is to flip the Republican-held House back to Democratic control, allowing Obama to push forward with a progressive agenda on gun control, immigration, climate change and the economy during his final two years in office, according to congressional Democrats, strategists and others familiar with Obama’s thinking.

If you are a Republican in the House, you probably look at your wave victory in the 2010 midterms, largely reaffirmed in last November’s House elections, as a sign the American people don’t want the full-bore left-wing agenda Obama pursued at will in 2009 and 2010.

If you are Obama, you apparently look at these results as a pair of mistakes by the people that they need to go back and correct so you can get back to what you were doing (before they stopped you).

It is a rare president who persuades the electorate to give him more leverage during his seventh and eighth years in office: The Post reports that Bill Clinton is the only president since FDR to pick up seats during his second mid-term election. But even those seats weren’t nearly enough to give Clinton’s party a majority in the House or Senate — and the GOP had a narrower margin in the House going into the 1998 elections than they do heading into next year. Clinton also had an approval rating, the Post notes, that was 14 percentage points higher than Obama’s is today.

And Clinton, of course, worked with congressional Republicans early during his second term to balance the budget and had already secured such bipartisan legislation as the Defense of Marriage Act (not that all of Clinton’s supporters considered that a victory) and the 1996 welfare reform (even if Clinton vetoed the reform twice before relenting).

The closest Obama came to a bipartisan deal since Republicans took control of the House was the 2011 near-agreement on a budget deal during the debt-ceiling negotiations — an agreement which fell apart because Obama increased his demands for higher taxes at the last minute. That deal of course led to the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration that took effect last Friday.

The Post uses sequestration to highlight the risks of his going for broke in 2014:

In his State of the Union address last month, Obama outlined an agenda that called for gun­-control measures, immigration legislation, a hike in the minimum wage and a new focus on climate change, among other items that poll well with the public.

So far, though, most of the proposals have little traction in the Republican-controlled House. Obama’s decision to squarely blame the opposition for across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester has also generated little goodwill across the aisle.

That is among the risks of Obama’s strategy to define the differences between his agenda and the Republicans’: He could be seen as the kind of partisan politician he once deplored, and he is likely to have little to show for it in terms of legislative achievements.

Two former Obama White House officials used the same word — “hubris” — to describe what they viewed as the administration’s highly public and sometimes misleading turn against congressional Republicans in the days heading into the sequester.

Given the success of Obama’s campaign organization, Organizing for Action, in the past two presidential elections — and his determination, per the Post’s story, to put OFA to work for the 2014 elections — Republicans would be wise not to underestimate his chances. But convincing Americans that they need to take a left turn back to 2009-10, and remove the brakes from the federal government for a range of left-wing causes, will be a very tall task for even this president.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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551 comments Add your comment

Cheesy Grits is gone but not forgotten

March 5th, 2013
2:52 pm

My bet is he gets it done.

The Repuvblican party is on life supprt.

The very thing keeping them alive, Gerrymandered districts, is the very thing killing them.

They have all set up nice cozy districts where they are safe. But where does the opppsoition come from. Their right and the Tea party nutjobs.

So in effect they are having to move harder to the right to fight them off.

This is not a long term winning strategy.

Rafe Hollister

March 5th, 2013
2:53 pm

His goose is cooked. He is going to spend the next two years hoping for victory in 2014 and the last two pouting, so his legacy is going to have to rest on being the best gun salesman the world has ever known.

He could have done much to help this country if he had some leadership skills and more centrist ideology.

Hillbilly D

March 5th, 2013
2:53 pm

You have to play to your strengths and when campaigning is what you do best, that’s what you do.

Cheesy Grits is gone but not forgotten

March 5th, 2013
2:54 pm

Clinton also had an approval rating, the Post notes, that was 14 percentage points higher than Obama’s is today

I would think Clintons approval rating and how it related to Congress at the time would be more telling.

Obama ratings are well over 50 percent while Congress is at historical lows.

Rafe Hollister preparing for an Obamanist America

March 5th, 2013
2:56 pm

Cheesy from downstairs continued

Six years of gains under Bush, two years of loses, better than expected, I’d say. Your father should have stayed in the market, I made my money back by staying in the market.

I know you are are thrilled that “Obama has reinvigorated the stock market” (hah), but tell your father that past performance is not a valid indicator of future rewards. It will go down again, so if he is averse to risk as you seem to feel, he needs to take that into consideration. (no charge for passing on stock broker advice)

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

March 5th, 2013
2:58 pm

If you are a Republican in the House, you probably look at your wave victory in the 2010 midterms, largely reaffirmed in last November’s House elections, as a sign the American people don’t want the full-bore left-wing agenda Obama pursued at will in 2009 and 2010

Except that House Democrats got more votes in total than Republicans. The only reason the Republicans kept control was because of their gerrymandering.

Cheesy Grits is gone but not forgotten

March 5th, 2013
2:59 pm

Six years of gains under Bush, two years of loses

Yes those two right at the end when his policies had time to take full effect

Worst President Ever.

Your father should have stayed in the market, I made my money back by staying in the market.

He did. We both knew a Democratic President was on the way.

BTW Your Welcome.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

March 5th, 2013
3:01 pm

It will go down again,

Google “market correction”and you will find some think we are about due for another correction.

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

March 5th, 2013
3:03 pm

There’s the word we’re looking for – Lame Duck.

Awesome being the first to get it out there, Kyle.

He could be seen as the kind of partisan politician he once deplored, and he is likely to have little to show for it in terms of legislative achievements.

Yeah, like his entire first term.

Rafe Hollister preparing for an Obamanist America

March 5th, 2013
3:07 pm

Cheesy

I think Bernanke has more to do with the stock market invigoration than Barry. Keeping interest rates so low keeps people searching for somewhere to get a return. Markets go up and down no matter who the President is. Check back after the correction.

Politico

March 5th, 2013
3:09 pm

Obama is wishful thinking if he is getting the House. Not going to happen.

But you have to laugh at the Party whose top ranking Senator said his “job was to make Obama a one term President” is now diverting to lame duck talk…………

Speaking of consolation prizes. Yeah boy, you hit the jackpot.

Jefferson

March 5th, 2013
3:09 pm

The stupid party of no has nothing to offer but “NO”….

Reasonable people can come to reasonable conclusions under reasonable conditions, unless you are a republican.

Politico

March 5th, 2013
3:11 pm

*if he thinks he is getting the House.

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

March 5th, 2013
3:14 pm

obozo is a lame duck. Shot his load on the suckwester. Now the American People laugh when ever he opens his mouth.

Matz

March 5th, 2013
3:15 pm

Gerrymandering: Our lawmakers select us, not the other way around. It’s the only way big-gubmint Republicans can keep us in line.

Lame Duck President Obama: Time to end the drug war. Seriously. The prison industrial complex is killing America. Industrial hemp could put Georgia farmers and manufacturers to work selling quality products to the rest of the world. Medicinal and recreational Sticky should be regulated and taxed to fund infrastructure, schools, hospitals, and first responders. Domestic violence goes down; Hostess makes a comeback. Win – win – win.

It’s time.

Centrist

March 5th, 2013
3:16 pm

While it would appear that Obama is going for a political win instead of compromising with Congress on spending cuts, this may just be a bargaining tactic. As pointed out, most of the Republican House seats are safe and current projections have them easily holding the House.

The Continuing Resolution (CR) required by the end of the month for government appropriations is going to have the sequester cuts included – or rolling shutdowns will start. The debt ceiling expires in May. The House will pass a budget and later a tax reform bill. The Senate claims they will finally submit a budget for next year that could possibly be reconciled with the House to avoid more Continuing Resolutions (CR’s). These individual junctures all give the opportunity for compromise to avoid more monthly Obama dramas.

Rafe Hollister preparing for an Obamanist America

March 5th, 2013
3:17 pm

Regarding gerrymandered districts, you can blame that on the Voting Rights Act. GOP learned that under the VRA they were unable to diminish minority voting strength in minority districts. So, necessity being the mother of invention, they learned that they could increase minority voting strength, so they moved more minorities into the minority districts, leaving other districts more GOP friendly, resulting in more GOP reps, thank you Lord. Dems have just never been able to figure out those unintended consequences that the GOP warns them about all the time. It is all about intentions with the Dems, results are not that important. it seems.

Today, minorities plead with the Supremes to keep the VRA in place. GOP benefits either way, kinda ironic.

JDW

March 5th, 2013
3:18 pm

@Kyle…”It is a rare president who persuades the electorate to give him more leverage during his seventh and eighth years in office”

True enough but the twist is that never has a President had to deal with such an under performing minority party. In Clinton’s day those Republicans had successes to point out during their reelection campaigns…this bunch has none of that and are saddled with the lowest ratings of any branch of government EVER.

The ONLY thing keeping the House Republicans in the game is Gerrymandering. To wit…

“Democrats led Republicans by 56 million to 55 million votes nationally, according to unofficial tallies from the Associated Press. It’s the first time since 1996 that one party won more House seats while winning fewer votes, according to data compiled by the House Clerk’s office.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-16/republicans-can-t-declare-mandate-with-more-democrat-house-votes.html

My guess is that Gerrymandering only lasts for so long before demographics and voter rage against Republicans (note that according to Pew 62% of all voters and 65% of independents think that they are out of touch) turn the House blue. Only question is will it be done in 2014 and given the performance of the machine that Obama unleashed in 2012 it would be shortsighted to think it can’t happen…then again given the recent history of the current crop of Republicans that sounds right up their alley.

MANGLER

March 5th, 2013
3:18 pm

Clinton didn’t have a Congress who openly said that from day 1 their only agenda was to make him a 1 term President. And when Clinton did cross the isle, they at least listened rather than scream NO at the top of their lungs the whole time.
Because Obama can not run again, he doesn’t have to worry about losing an upcoming election for himself. So he can actually pursue his agenda items without too much prejudice. Especially now that the world has seen what the GOP led gridlock and sequester has done – which is nothing really except shave some bloat off of Pentagon payrolls.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

March 5th, 2013
3:19 pm

The perpetual campaign continues.

Let’s not worry about showing any leadership, let’s just keep campaigning as if we were a real leader.

Rafe Hollister preparing for an Obamanist America

March 5th, 2013
3:24 pm

But you have to laugh at the Party whose top ranking Senator said his “job was to make Obama a one term President”

This was supposed to be so awful, but how is this different than basing your second term strategy on defeating the GOP in 2014.

Maybe America would have been better off if we took off at least a year after an election and tried governing together, rather than planning to defeat your enemy in the next election. This partisanship did not happen before, Usually, even with Bush, there were periods after elections, where the emphasis was on governing. With Obama it is campaign all day every day, which is why he is so divisive and ineffective.

Cheesy Grits is gone but not forgotten

March 5th, 2013
3:26 pm

Let’s not worry about showing any leadership, let’s just keep campaigning as if we were a real leader.

Well when the other part is unable to comprimise. They pretty much come out and say we are gonna ruin your presidenncy and make you a one termer

Then you are left with no choice than to go directly to the Americans people.

Cheesy Grits is gone but not forgotten

March 5th, 2013
3:28 pm

This was supposed to be so awful, but how is this different than basing your second term strategy on defeating the GOP in 2014.

One is a reaction to the other.

Pretty simple.

Hillbilly D

March 5th, 2013
3:30 pm

Rafe @ 3:17

Good point. People act like Gerrymandering is something recent but it’s named for Elbridge Gerry, who’s been dead since 1814.

The main difference is that in the last couple decades, they’ve been able to use computer programs to fine tune their shenanigans, to the point you get a near guaranteed outcome unless some candidate gets caught with a farm animal or something.

Politico

March 5th, 2013
3:32 pm

“This was supposed to be so awful, but how is this different than basing your second term strategy on defeating the GOP in 2014.”

And when did I say it was?

Cheesy Grits is gone but not forgotten

March 5th, 2013
3:33 pm

It’s a new all-time high: Dow smashes through 14,198

Let the good times roll !!!!

Thank you Obama !!!!!

Rafe Hollister preparing for an Obamanist America

March 5th, 2013
3:34 pm

The Dems were never behind GWB, remember he “stole” the election. Bush found ways to work with them and get things done, budgets even got passed. Probably because he knew that half the people had different ideas than the did, so he allowed Dems to have input into legislation, like NCLB and Medicare part D.

Obama never got the part about being President of all Americans. Guess it wasn’t mention in Rules for Radicals.

Cheesy Grits is gone but not forgotten

March 5th, 2013
3:35 pm

Try to find a link to the DOW setting a new record on Foxnews.com

I dare you.

Wanna bet it would be front and center if Romney was President ?

Cheesy Grits is gone but not forgotten

March 5th, 2013
3:37 pm

Obama never got the part about being President of all Americans.

I think alot of people never got the part about him BEING the President.

Del

March 5th, 2013
3:38 pm

Based on this NYT’s analysis it would appear that Obama faces some headwind in his quest to have Democrats take back the House as his second term approval at this point isn’t that strong. The sequester along with a continuing sputtering economy doesn’t put him in the best position.

http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/19/for-second-term-presidents-a-shorter-honeymoon/

Rafe Hollister preparing for an Obamanist America

March 5th, 2013
3:39 pm

Thank you Obama !!!!!

So, Cheesy is authorizing us to blame him when it goes down, right?

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

March 5th, 2013
3:39 pm

“Well when the other part is unable to comprimise.”

Given that President Incompetent’s way of approaching compromise is “Do it my way or else”, there is little room for the GOP to compromise, Cheesy.

Compromise takes leadership, of which neither side displays any. But given that he’s the Constitutional leader of the Executive branch, it might be better if he tries to show some at some point.

Del

March 5th, 2013
3:42 pm

Thank you Obama !!!!!

Actually you can thank Ben Bernanke. Obama must be thanking him as it puts a mask on the true economic reality. Of course there are many who don’t see through that mask.

Cheesy Grits is gone but not forgotten

March 5th, 2013
3:43 pm

So, Cheesy is authorizing us to blame him when it goes down, right?

Your going to anyway.

Cheesy Grits is gone but not forgotten

March 5th, 2013
3:44 pm

Given that President Incompetent’s way of approaching compromise is “Do it my way or else”, there is little room for the GOP to compromise, Cheesy.

Lie

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

March 5th, 2013
3:44 pm

Short answer, Cheesy, is that leaders at some point need to stop blaming others for their failures.

President Incompetent will never do that.

Cheesy Grits is gone but not forgotten

March 5th, 2013
3:46 pm

Can you find the link to the DOW hitting an ALL TIME HIGH

on Foxnews.com ???

I cant either.

Hmm they must have just overlooked it.

After all they are fair and balanced.

Politico

March 5th, 2013
3:46 pm

Del

Democrats will not be getting the House. I believe Tiberius mentioned gerrymandering as one of the reasons. With the huge Republican wins in 2010 it doesn’t make it impossible but highly improbable. Republicans are probably good for at least 4 more years in the House; maybe more. They may lose some seats, but not control.

Cheesy Grits is gone but not forgotten

March 5th, 2013
3:47 pm

Short answer, Cheesy, is that leaders at some point need to stop blaming others for their failures.

Id agree. When will you stop blaming Obama for yours ?

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

March 5th, 2013
3:48 pm

Sorry, Cheesy, but his inability to compromise is a sad and sorry FACT.

And his inability to compromise is rooted in requiring something the opposition does not want as his only way of proposing things.

And never backing away from it.

Ever.

Fact.

Del

March 5th, 2013
3:50 pm

Can you find the link to the DOW hitting an ALL TIME HIGH

on Foxnews.com ?

All you have to do is go to the Fox News home page and click on Fox Business. Simple…well for most it is.

Cheesy Grits is gone but not forgotten

March 5th, 2013
3:51 pm

Sorry, Cheesy, but his inability to compromise is a sad and sorry FACT.

His leagacy will be that of a Great President. But who ultimately could have done more if the other side would have been willing to talk. They even as much said thier primary goal was to make sure he wasnt re-elected. But he endured and got a good many things done anyway.

This is how he will be remembered.

Fact.

Cheesy Grits is gone but not forgotten

March 5th, 2013
3:52 pm

All you have to do is go to the Fox News home page and click on Fox Business. Simple…well for most it is.

No on the main page. The news site.

Hillbilly D

March 5th, 2013
3:52 pm

Dusty

March 5th, 2013
3:53 pm

Soooooo, the country can go to hell in a handbasket with debt and downgrades and the president is going to be playing politics against Republicans. I tell you, that is some “leadership” goal. The man thinks making oneself important is leadership.

It took Chavez 14 years to get all the power for himself in Venezuela. Obama is planning to do it in much less time and he’s been working hard at it. Entitlements for 50% of the people, release of all illegals and get them to the voting box. “Free” medical care! Soak the rich with taxes and take over the business world from the smallest to the largest. Keep people like Cheesy & Finn at the propaganda mills. Use buddy Chicago politicians, the ones out of jail, in job positions. Persuade the liberals of this world that he is their vision of greater things which only he can furnish, a view absorbed by college students, professors alike (see Emory University’s latest “liberal” fiasco).

One thought as pronounced by some ;is “get rid of the old white men ruining our country. ” That’s it. Throw in racism also . Use anything available to enhance Mr. Obama. Use a little bigotry too.

Any tolerance I had for him is gone. His fast growing ambition for himself is an eminent danger to our country and he isn’t even hiding that fact now. It is no longer wise for Americans to deny or ignore what is obvious. .

Del

March 5th, 2013
3:54 pm

There you go cheesy, H.D. helped you out.

Rafe Hollister preparing for an Obamanist America

March 5th, 2013
3:54 pm

Del

March 5th, 2013
3:58 pm

Politico,

I think you’re right. Silver alluded to the same along with his lower beginning second term approval than that of most recent presidents that won reelection.

Cheesy Grits is gone but not forgotten

March 5th, 2013
3:58 pm

No on foxnews.com

Not the business site.

CNN Msnbc ajc heck everyone is reporting it

ON THE NEWS SITE.

foxnews.com however does not.

LOL

Rafe Hollister preparing for an Obamanist America

March 5th, 2013
3:58 pm

I’m glad Cheesy reads Foxnews, that way maybe he will be exposed to some of what the state supported media censors from the public.