Obama Needs To Blitz Congress To Get His Entire Agenda Approved

President Obama must be irked. The media and other Obama allies like Warren Buffett are on his case for the first time, insisting he’s in too big a hurry to enact his entire domestic agenda. Obama should slow down, they say. He should prioritize. He should focus on reviving the economy and nothing else, and leave other issues–health care, energy, education–for later. The president has spurned this advice.

by Fred Barnes
Weekly Standard

Obama is right. His agenda is grandiose, but his strategy for achieving it makes sense. Since he has a fair chance of getting nearly everything he wants, why not go for it now? The president and his aides believe any new administration in similar circumstances would do the same. Right again. Proceeding prudently, taking up issues one at a time, would reduce the odds of success. For a new president, later is harder.

The White House strategy has dictated the Republican strategy: slow-walk the process. No one understands this better than Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell. He’s joined the chorus urging Obama to pull back. There’s “ample time” later, he said last week, to deal with issues “that have no relation whatsoever” to rejuvenating the economy.

The president, contrary to his reputation as the smartest guy in town, doesn’t seem to realize how important his own strategy really is. He acts as though he’s not subject to the normal rules of politics and thus, for him, success is inevitable. It’s not. The rules do apply and have, in fact, begun to affect him adversely. He needs to make haste.
Obama has two great political assets: his popularity and the large Democratic majorities in the Senate and House. The more popular a president and the bigger his party’s majorities, the better his prospects for winning approval of his agenda. Seems obvious, doesn’t it? The best example: Lyndon Johnson in 1965, when his Great Society programs became the law of the land. (They still are.)

Like earlier presidents, Obama is slipping in popularity, as measured by job approval, as his first year progresses. At 63 percent approval, he’s roughly where George W. Bush was at this point in his presidency in 2001, but behind JFK, Eisenhower, Carter, LBJ, and Nixon. Pollster Scott Rasmussen has noted a sharp rise in those who “strongly disapprove” of Obama’s performance and a dip in those who “strongly approve.”

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