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White House Cheat Sheet: The Obama Mandate

President Obama is about to find out how far political capital will take him, as he tries to woo Hill Republicans. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

In the early days of his presidency, Barack Obama has shied away from shoving his November victory in the faces of Republicans -- preferring to focus on the need for bipartisan compromise rather than the clear mandate (365 electoral votes) he received last fall.

That veil lifted a bit on Friday when in a meeting with Republicans to discuss his economic stimulus package, Obama reminded the GOP leaders "I won."

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs sought to downplay the statement during Monday's press briefing (REMINDER: Sign up for The Fix's White House briefing twitter feed today!), but it's clear that Obama believes he has significant political capital following his November victory and he is planning to wield it in the coming debate and vote on the stimulus package.

New Gallup polling suggests that by historical standards Obama starts his administration in with sufficient strength to do just that.

The president's initial job approval rating -- 68 percent -- is the second highest in Gallup polling since World War II, eclipsed only by (you guessed it!) John F. Kennedy who in a February 1961 survey had a stratospheric 72 percent job approval score.

Of the modern presidents, Obama's standing is far and away the strongest at this point in his presidency. George W. Bush had a 57 percent job approval rating in February 2001 and Bill Clinton had a similar 58 percent in January 1993. Times were even harder for George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan -- both of whom started their terms with job approval ratings of 51 percent.

Republican congressional leaders are well aware of Obama's current political strength and must weigh carefully how far to push him when it comes to concessions on the stimulus package. Being on the wrong side of Obama at this point (and probably on this issue) doesn't make for smart politics so watch for GOP Senators and House members being targeted in 2010 to think very carefully before casting a "no" vote on the package.

Of course, Gallup polling also offers a note of caution to Obama. In February 1977 Jimmy Carter's job approval rating stood at 66 percent; less than four years later he was defeated at the ballot box.

Popularity, like everything in politics, is fleeting.

Sked Stuff: President Obama descends on Capitol Hill today for separate meetings with House and Senate Republican leaders to discuss (what else?) his economic stimulus plan. He huddles with the House first at 12:15 p.m. and then the Senate an hour and ten minutes later. The first test for package comes Wednesday when the House will vote on (and almost certainly pass) it. The operative question is how many on-the-fence Republicans Obama can convince to support his main legislative priority. And, if the legislation winds up being approved on something close to a party line vote, how does the Obama team spin it?

News Nugget: Former Maine Senator George Mitchell, President Obama's newly named special envoy to the Middle East is now in the region -- making stops in Israel, the West Bank, Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, before going on to France and England, according to White House press secretary Robert Gibbs. Obama's inner circle has set low expectations for this trip -- casting it primarily as a "listening tour." Obama, himself, during an interview early this month cast America's role in the Middle East peace process thusly: "What we can to is to provide a space within which some trust can be built. And that will be, I think, an early goal."

A (Treasury) Bullet Dodged: The Senate confirmed Timothy Geithner as treasury secretary last night by a 60 to 34 vote -- ending a rocky few weeks that began with Geithner's admission he had failed to pay taxes (accidentally) for several years. Eight Republicans -- included the current and immediate past chairmen of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (John Cornyn of Texas and John Ensign of Nevada, respectively) voted for Geithner's confirmation; four Democrats -- Sens. Robert Byrd (W. Va.), Russ Feingold (Wisc.), Tom Harkin (Iowa) and Bernie Sanders (Vt.), who is technically an independent but caucuses with Democrats, voted against Geithner. Geithner was quickly sworn in and already has a communications team in place to handle what will be a wild ride over the next few years. Stephanie Cutter, a veteran of Sen. John Kerry's 2004 presidential bid and chief of staff to Michelle Obama last fall, will head up the communications shop while Isaac Baker, a veteran of Hillary Clinton's primary campaign, will be the chief spokesman at Treasury.

Feingold Seeks Special Elections: Following not one but two semi-disastrous Senate appointments by Govs. Rod Blagojevich (Ill.) and David Paterson (N.Y.) over the past few weeks, crusading Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) is trying to amend the Constitution to force special elections to fill Senate vacancies. "The controversies surrounding some of the recent gubernatorial appointments to vacant Senate seats make it painfully clear that such appointments are an anachronism that must end," said Feingold in a statement. Feingold quickly landed a cosponsor in freshman Alaska Sen. Mark Begich (D) who watched as then Gov. Frank Murkowski (R) appointed his daughter, Lisa, to the Senate in late 2002. Right now, 34 states allow the governor unfettered power to fill a Senate opening while eight require a special election be held, according to research done by Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn. The remainder are a mix of appointment and election -- depending on when the vacancy occurs and what other elections are scheduled in the state. Appointed Senators are a mixed bag: for every Walter Mondale (appointed in December 1964) or George Mitchell (appointed May 1980) there's a Kaneaster Hodges Jr. (of Arkansas, of course) or John D. Hoblitzell Jr. (of West Virginia).

Click It!: If Blagojevich does wind up being impeached by the Illinois state Senate later this week, the Fix will miss him. The Associated Press' video team got Blagojevich talking about his idea of appointing talk show host Oprah Winfrey to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Obama. "I felt it was an intriguing idea," acknowledged Blagojevich. Also, notice Pay-Rod's repeated use of the phrase "the fix is in" during the interview. Is he trying to send us a message?

The Macker Hits The Airwaves: Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe launched the first ad of his candidacy for Virginia's governorship -- roughly five months before primary voters head to the ballot box. The ad, which is running in the Hampton Roads area, casts McAuliffe as a businessman and an outsider -- the exact profile Sen. Mark Warner used to get elected governor of the Commonwealth back in 2001. "I'll make it my job to protect your job -- and get Virginia's economy moving," McAuliffe says at the commercial's conclusion. The challenge for McAulliffe's rivals in the Democratic party? Raise enough money to get out and define themselves (and the Macker) before he does both first.

Email Imbroglio: First, the powers-that-be took away instant messaging from White House press staffers who had grown dependent on it during Obama's campaign. Now, the email system has proven as unpredictable as the Fix's jumpshot. The White House press operation spent the entire day Monday in the dark -- technologically speaking -- waiting for IT to fix their broken email system. Working at triage, the press staff turned to the trusty email list of the White House Correspondents Association to distribute pool reports about the president's comings and goings. White House staff relying on reporters? Will wonders never cease?

Say What?: "I'll pick myself up and figure out a way to make a living and a good living for my family." -- Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich tells Fox News Channel that he is going to be just fine, thank you very much.

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 27, 2009; 6:35 AM ET
Categories:  Cheat Sheet Share This:  E-Mail | Technorati | Del.icio.us | Digg | Stumble Previous: KY-Sen: Mongiardo's In
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The "mandate" is like the blank slate upon which Obama promoted himself. If you look past the rhetoric, Obama is clearly a pay for play guy (he broke fund raising records from unions and corps by 2x in the primary, election and coronation). A pay for play guy from Chicago (listen to Blago if you want the candid camera version) rewards his friends (stakeholders) and punishes his enemies. As Blago says, F___ the public. That is Obama's mandate. If only a third of the stimulus is stimulating the economy, don't worry the rest kicking into state and local employees and highway and bridge builders two years later will provide plenty of donations to elect a record number of Democrats.

Posted by: Donschott | January 29, 2009 8:00 AM | Report abuse

It now appears that the Republicans will be of no help whatever (read date on post). Forget them. Let's move on without them.

Posted by: nwsjnky1 | January 29, 2009 6:11 AM | Report abuse

I am not endorsing what Blagojevich did but i feel after seeing him on TV that they are not being fair with him. If they are going to go after the Gov then they need to go after the other crooked politicians in Illinois like Mayor Daily and Todd Strodger who are as crooked as they come. So i do agree with Blagojevich. I am from Illinois and he Mayor and his family steal as well from the city. I see a Republican take over after this mess of the State of Illinois in the near future.

Posted by: mattadamsdietmanager1014 | January 28, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

You wrote:

"If Blagojevich does end up getting impeached by the Illinois state Senate later this week, the Fix will miss him."

I'm getting tired of reading and hearing, time after time, about how "if" Blago is impeached...

He WAS impeached. That is the first step in being removed from office. The second step is being CONVICTED.

Remember Bill Clinton was impeached. But he wasn't removed from office and therefore wasn't convicted.

Why don't journalists understand this still? Do your homework please.

Posted by: slownsteady8 | January 28, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse



OR (if link is disabled):


Posted by: scrivener50 | January 27, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

true..but we won't know what countries. Like Saudi Arabia and the big story about how the monarchy (??) gives $25,000 to families of suicide bombers. "They" say it is insurance because they lost a family member. But it is commonly misconstrued as "raise your kid to be a suicide/homicide bomber and earn $25,000".

I do find it interesting in the past 48 hours that the countries that have Gitmo detainees say they will take them. I wonder what they will do with them???

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | January 27, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

It's nice to see that Obama is trying to taking some steps to fix our domestic and internation problems. I hope that Congress with help shape a stimulus package that will actually benefit Americans in the long run and not just tie us over for a week or so. The war on terror will shift to the countries that are actually harboring terrorist instead of staying in a country that is now self-sufficient. Americans will get adequate health care and education, while we try to help change the image of our country for the rest of the world. One way of doing this is to help eliminate global poverty, domestic and foreign. The Borgen Project (www.borgenproject.org) has some interesting facts about global poverty and how reducing it will help our society. It would cost $19 billion to eliminate global poverty, which is extremely small compared ot the $522 billion the U.S. government spent on our defense budget last year. By eliminating global poverty we are setting ourselves up to have stronger allies or new ones, we open up the doors to new resources and help make our society safer to live in.

Posted by: cougar_gal06 | January 27, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse


now you know that Gaza isn't Obama's fault.
But I do have to admit, this "let's take Gaza and then give it back in 6 months" has got to stop.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | January 27, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

CNN was predicting a long hard road.
Ali Velshi and Suzy Orman.
Do you really think all the companies laying off are going to suddenly recoup within 8 months?
I remember the late 70s when the housing market fell down big time. Into 80 through something like 83. For 5 years, I worked 2 jobs to make it.
The fall out of 2009 will be felt for some time.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | January 27, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Please start to report on the truth on what these Republicans are saying. They have gotten a say in this stimulus package. The tax portion is much larger than Obama wanted as a compromise to them. The money should be going out for JOB creation. The tax end has proven NOT to be the job creator. I am so sick of their partisian behavior. Can't they come up with any other ideas besides TAX CUTS for the RICH and CORPORATIONS that are already paying NO taxes with their loopholes?????

Posted by: truth14 | January 27, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

George Mitchell is taking the full Holy Land tour, except for the place where the Gaza strip, from where rockets claiming 5 lives were recently fired, and where 1,300 Palestinians, most of them children, the rest of them mostly civilian, were killed by bomb, mortar, bullet, bulldozer, and white phosphorus.

George Mitchell should visit Gaza. He should meet the head of the UNRWA to coordinate relief efforts.

George Mitchell won't visit Gaza. He won't visit Gaza, because just the sight of the destruction wrought by Israel would increase Americans' sympathy for the victims of war.

If Americans knew of the lack of electricity, the lack of clean water, the lack of medical supplies, and the lack of food enforced by Israel as collective punishment through its continuing occupation by means of blockade, it would turn their sympathies toward the victims of this war.

That is why George Mitchell won't visit Gaza.

Today, I am proud not to have voted for Obama.

Posted by: anticlimacus | January 27, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse


Don't know who you are listening to, b ut the last I heard there was going to be a start in the recovery 4th quarter 2009 or 1st quarter 2010.

Posted by: hobsry7350 | January 27, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse


The local area is looking into Light Rail, but it'll be, like never, that they'll get it - too many little governmental fiefdoms. Also, while food stamps paid for the groceries, there was NOTHING, nada, zip for personal care (like soap) or perscription drugs up here in the cold of Wisconsin. And a former govenor was the leader of the group of RepubliKKKan's that eliminated welfare. Was 20 months without a job and only had six months of unemployment, so I agree with you there, plus making it free of income taxes. And of course, there was no insurance. Lived off of a house me and the wife sold, food stamps, charity for 14 months and gas got up to $4.11.9 here at it's worse. I think there ought to be a gas credit for people who half to work 50 or more miles from home.

There's a web site www.WhiteHouse.gov to leave off your program.

Posted by: hobsry7350 | January 27, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

economists are already saying 7 to 10 years for recovery.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | January 27, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Hey Brad - the new grandbabies are in the house but we can still eat lunch, sometime soon.

Hobsry - the structural problem when a factory closes that is the area's major employer is outside my facile and superficial formula - except for the parts about extending FUI and food stamps, etc.

But theoretically, the plant closing and the glut of homes in your area would leave appraisers rapidly lowering FMVs. Theoretically, anyway.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 27, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I Know there is a lots of waste in DC and politics. lets do something with all the vacant buildings that have closed up their businesses and not build any more new buildings and shopping centers itonly raises the monthly rents sky high and then they have to close those new buildings also,that does not help the economy,lets us do what we have allready and make it an lower rent that will help the economy a lot more,and lets pay our monthly mortgage on time and not go overboard with big houses you can hardly afford.
And also close big banks like Capitol one,and bank of America,citybank &merle Lynch and create more small banks and credit unions where your money is safe,thank you.

Posted by: hbrinkhuis | January 27, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Mark_in_Austin - Great ideas! Let's do lunch at Shultz's sometime soon. We can do our part for the local economy. Hey... Chuy's on Barton Springs was only half full last Thursday at noon. That is very scary. Maybe the boycott because of Jenna Bush's bust for the fake ID is finally taking hold.

Posted by: bradcpa | January 27, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I think Bob Herbert's column in the New York Times pretty much said it all. We have tried it their way and their ideas do not work. The very fact that a third of stimulous policy are tax cuts is already a big bone to the Republicans. They can protest this at their own peril. I think Obama can point this out in his next you-tube address. After listeing to Limbaugh I am sure the Republicans are setting themselves up for mid-term losses.

Posted by: bradcpa | January 27, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I'd just caution that there are no "quick fixes" here - it took more than a year for the economy to collapse, and it's obviously going to take much longer to fix. Now, that being said, there are smart ways to go about this, as opposed to just blindly throwing money at banks simply because they're "too big to fail."

Posted by: cnote_723 | January 27, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

don't feel bad pilgrim.
phoenix arizona has taken a $10,000 hit on house property.
each property owner is looking at a $10,000 and more loss on their property. In what we call "the main corridor of Phoenix"
We are number one on the list and have beeen since 2007.
My place took, believe this, a $14,000 hit within one year. Makes me sick. And now we have a Sec. of State waltzing into the Governor's office that won't do a thing about it.
However, we just got "light rail", so perhaps, by 2010 property value notices in February....we will recoup.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | January 27, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

No stimulus will help the economy immediately. That's impossible. There's absolutely nothing the government can do to fix our problems overnight. That means we need to invest in long-term solutions (like infrastructure improvements), not short-term payouts that only help the people who need help the least.

Posted by: Blarg | January 27, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Just a clarification which I hope will help the discussion of Governor Blagojevich's political troubles. The Governor has already been impeached, i.e., indicted. If he is convicted as a result of his trial by the Illinois Senate, he will be removed from office.

Posted by: tonyrschmitt | January 27, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

To Mark_in_Austin: Overall, you make some very good points, but I don't think your program goes far enough. There's a story out there that says that the average price of homes for sale FELL 18.2%. Any in my area, the fair market value, which is what Wisconsin's property tax is based on, fell $2000 this year (or there abouts). OK, I probably paid too much for my house - $120,000 for a 3BR, 2.5BA, 10 year old ranch. The County said last yer, it was worth $140,900. Then GM closed their plant and the county's largest employer. In round numbers, 3500 jobs gone. So there's a very big surplus of homes for sale at depressed prices plus not a few homes for sale at foreclosure. So how will your proposal handle these and in other ares of the country like mine?

Posted by: hobsry7350 | January 27, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Building roads and infrastructure will stimulate the economy, in a year or two from now. I am in the construction business and that is about how long it takes to get the projects going. Fine, lets do it, it would be great for everybody, but don't call it a stimulus that will help with the economy now.

As for giving money to the government, you're right. I don't like it. Just as you (I assume) I work very hard for it. I am not rich. I get up every day and work very hard. I pay my taxes. I pay my mortgage, I pay my bills and if there is anything left after that, perhaps I can go to the movies. I would be happy to have the government take care of this mess. They have proven to be, at best, inept and at worst criminals (probably a bit of both), so to trust them with putting my, yes MY money, at risk in an effort to help everybody at this point is just pointless.

GIving tax breaks to people who don't pay taxes is just political nonsense. You say "The Bush-style economic stimulus, where the IRS writes everyone a check, was just a waste of money" and I totally agree with that. But what is the difference between that and handing somebody a "tax credit" check when they didn't pay taxes?

Posted by: bobbyv33 | January 27, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Having written that I will not criticize Rs or Ds for "partisanship" on domestic matters, I am free to criticize both on substance.

1] We should learn from our mistakes as well as our successes. Thus, the remainder of TARP authorization cannot be used like a cookie jar for the financial industry. IMO, the zombie banks must submit to RTC type reorganization - be shut down, their "bad" assets stripped and sold off to speculators, and the remaining
entity or assets be sold to new investors, wiping out the stockholders, not the taxpayers.

2] FedRes in conjunction with FHA should offer to buy in bad morgages at 90% of the current market value of the properties. The note-holders and secondary trustees who refuse this offer would be stuck holding the bag, so most will comply. The FHA will be able to restructure the loan conventionally at 90% of FMV, and that will move the houses or keep the struggling mortgagors in their homes. And the taxpayers get paid back in the long run.

3. FUI and medicaid and food stamps and CHIPs, because the admin of all are in place, should be extended - we do not have to reinvent the wheel.

4. Infrastructure projects should start with the power grid, tunnels, bridges, ports, airports, rail ROWs and dams under federal purview that cry out for deferred maintenance. Less waste than "bold new" projects, same increase in employment. Where local weatherization and energy efficiency programs are already in place, federal aid would directly tend to increase employment and lower energy consumption.

5. SBA should have billions for funding small businesses that seek to expand.

6. Every business that shows a net increase in domestic employment from 2008 to 2009 should be given a tax credit on its 2009 return.

Not much of what I want will happen.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 27, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse





Posted by: deborahzaki | January 27, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

I am suspending criticism of Rs as partisan on domestic agendas. There are two areas of national life that can be either post-partisan or bipartisan, but they are not the domestic agenda.

1] Will the prez insist that he is outside the law [a la Nixon - Cheney - Yoo - Addison]? This prez has answered "no."

2] Will our foreign policy be essentially bipartisan, as it was from 1948-91? That is, will there be an agreed formulation [then, containment of the USSR] subject to debate about details? Jones-Gates-Clinton-Biden-prez seem a good combo to get us there.

But domestic politics is a mix of taxation and appropriations among competing states and regions and interests and even if we had NO parties domestic politics would be rancorous. We will be quite fortunate if the TARP and the Recovery Act are only as wasteful as the farm bill and the highway appropriations. Whatever position you take on the these biggies, you will be disappointed. This is a structural problem with American government that would only be "solved" by dictatorship - a solution that I would oppose with all I have.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 27, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Building roads and infrastructure will do a hell of a lot more to stimulate the economy than giving money to people with high incomes. And your plan does amount to handing out money, distributed in a way that it's useless to people who actually need help.

I'm not the one mixing up an agenda and economic stimulus. You are. You don't like having to give your money to the government, so you want it back. You don't care about the economy as a whole, or about people who don't have jobs. You're just out for yourself.

Posted by: Blarg | January 27, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

I think that where our problem is at the moment is we are mixing up a social agenda with stimulus. Perhaps people who make more would get more back in my idea, but in any economy it is the business owners and the investors that make it run. If we want to talk about helping the poor and the middle class, I am all for it, but that should be a discussion for another time, not for a stimulus package.

Borrowing money is not the way towards the long-term health of our economy. Building roads and infrastructure is a great thing, but will do nothing to stimulate the economy or create jobs for at least a year. Handing out money, as has been already pointed out, really didn't do anything. Paying for contraceptives is a great thing, but won't do anything to help the economy right now. Giving money to the banks and insurance companies and the car companies clearly didn't do as intended, so why not just let us give it a try.

Again, I say that it is OUR money. Clearly over the last 8-10 years, both parties (I refuse to just say BUSH is bad, republicans are bad), yes, I said BOTH parties have proven to me and most of the rest of the country that they have no idea what they are doing. Actually, that is not true, they do know exactly what they are doing, looking out for themselves and not for us.

Posted by: bobbyv33 | January 27, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

so mitchell is in the middle east.
remember the "road map to peace" that was a big issue some time back,
That was the Tenet/Mitchell plan.
I wonder if he is ballyhooing that around again. It didn't work.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | January 27, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

History tells us, a new President can only get 1 or 2 big things done in the 1st 6 months and then his honeymoon ends. Obama will get his stimulas bill through but then what? he cannot do health care and reform the entitlements or some of the other things he's talked about, he needs to pick one more and then wait until the off year elections to see if he still has any political capital left to spend.

Posted by: vbhoomes | January 27, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

bobbyv33, suspending the federal income tax is a terrible way to stimulate the economy. The biggest benefits would go to those with the highest incomes. The unemployed would see practically no benefit, but it would be a windfall for the rich.

More importantly, $110 billion in the hands of the government can be a lot more effective than $1000 in the hands of every taxpayer. Unfocused individual spending won't make any long-term improvements to the country, or significantly help failing businesses. The Bush-style economic stimulus, where the IRS writes everyone a check, was just a waste of money. And your idea is even worse.

Posted by: Blarg | January 27, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

hey, i need to send an email !!!

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | January 27, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

I think to fix the entire mess would be very simple. Suppose there were a suspension of federal income tax, say for 6 months, including withholding. I know that in my household that would bring about $1000 per week back in. I would invest (putting cash into the markets), I would buy some stuff(maybe even a car, putting cash into the economy), I would save some (giving the banks needed cash) not to mention pay off some of the debts that I have.

There are about 110 million households in the US. If my family is about average, then each week would cost the fed about 110 billion (1/10 of the plan). It would actually be less because all of our purchases would be taxed so there would still be income.

We all forget that it is OUR money. Barak, Nancy, Harry, Mitch and the rest, on both sides, want to spend it. Why not just let us spend it the way we choose.

Posted by: bobbyv33 | January 27, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Obama is merely reacting to the political landscape and sensing that he needs to play hardball with Republicans unwilling to compromise. They're getting lost in the old days of GOP power on the Hill.


Posted by: parkerfl1 | January 27, 2009 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Obama did win the presidential election but the Republicans in Congress won their respective elections also and have a duty to represent their constituents and to oppose Obama on principal when he strays into socialism. Principled opposition is what the two party system is all about. Funny thing is the MSM referrs to Republicans opposing Democratic and Obama initiatives as obstructionist but a few years ago when the Republicans controlled everything and the Democrats used every trick in the book to keep Republicans from passing bills they opposed the Democrats were called principled.

Posted by: RobT1 | January 27, 2009 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Obama does have a mandate of sorts. Because of this, and his continued popularity, Republicans need to monitor their obstructionist ways. If they want to oppose Obama they need to provide a cogent alternative and not simply say 'no'. Boehner's protests on the stimulus plan are nothing more than hollow partisan politics....

Posted by: RickJ | January 27, 2009 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Blago is the best entertainment on TV. I going to miss him after he's impeached from office. At some point, you have to admire his spunk and never quit mentality.

Posted by: vbhoomes | January 27, 2009 7:13 AM | Report abuse

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