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Obama's Balancing Act

By Ben Pershing
Which Barack Obama will predominate for the next four years? The one who dined with conservative columnists Tuesday night, drawing praise for being "well-informed" with "a great smile"? Or the one who will likely sign a stimulus plan that attracts far fewer Republican votes, and contains fewer tax cuts, than he originally hoped?

The answer, of course, is both. But this is the balance that may well define the foundational stage of Obama's presidency, as he pledges to change the tone and partisanship of Washington even while his party commands nearly unchecked power. After all, why should congressional Democrats compromise with Republicans on the stimulus bill? The majority doesn't really need the minority to get the bill passed, nor does this seem to be the kind of politically radioactive measure that requires each side to give the other cover. The result, then, is that Democrats have been pushing Obama's initial proposal steadily to the left since it was unveiled, with GOP support dropping off along the way.

At the same time -- dinners with columnists and invitations to speak aside -- it's not as though most Republicans are going out of their way to make Obama's life easier, nor should they. Tim Geithner's confirmation has been put off for a week, as some GOP senators voice skepticism about his past tax mistakes. Eric Holder's confirmation, which begins today, will be no picnic. Arlen Specter, Holder's chief GOP inquisitor, even wrote an op-ed this morning telegraphing one likely line of questioning. And you can expect to hear Rod Blagojevich's name invoked frequently.

Continue reading at Political Browser»

By Ben Pershing  |  January 15, 2009; 8:20 AM ET
Categories:  The Rundown  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Participatory Inaugural
Next: Napolitano Testifies on Protecting Homeland


I just gotta say I LOVE FOX NEWS!, it is great because it keeps on feeding the same old lies, negativity and hypocrisy to the ill-of-mind who now make up the core of the Republican party, pushing them further into the deep south and marginalizing them as a political party.

Keep it up Fox News, you're destroying the Republican party!

Posted by: JRM2 | January 15, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Let's scrutinize a few select republicans and their actions over the past eight years. They'd collapse like a house of cards.

Posted by: blarsen1 | January 15, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

A better question for Mr. Pershing - which GOP is going to show up at the hearings?

The scorched earth "none shall pass" obstructionists? The fiscal conservatives? The social hardliners? The think tank ideologues?

We know who's leading the administration.
Who's leading the opposition?

Posted by: JohnQuimby | January 15, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Nothing will work till you take care of the fuel for these companies. The fuel to run a big business or corporation is the consumer. A consumer needs a job with benefits and afforable health care. Everyone wants a piece of the consumer pie. Not enough good jobs to take care of it all.

And, Energy and food cost needs to be cheap so consumers will have extra cash to buy other stuff.

Not brain surgery, but it means fighting off speical interest...

Posted by: billisnice | January 15, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Pershing is right-the idea isn't for blind agreement...that's so last eight years. The idea is for rational discussion and finally,hopefully,consensus.

Let people disagree, some of them may have a point that will make the final outcome stronger. What's odd about it is that it's been so long since anyone in DC's tried it.

Posted by: ChuckTerzella | January 15, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Maybe the hype is real and Obama can bring everyone together. Maybe a liberal/conservative dinner party at Obama's new White House digs is next?

Posted by: parkerfl1 | January 15, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

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