After a week of legislative successes for President Obama, Republicans seized on one asterisk: his inability to line up support from their ranks. As he heads into his second full week in office, members of both parties are waiting to see whether he will regard this as the failure that some have made it out to be — and how much he is willing to alter his approach if he does.
By Alec MacGillis and Paul Kane
The Washington Post
Both the House’s passage of an $819 billion stimulus package and the Senate’s passage of a children’s health insurance bill broke along party lines, with the stimulus bill not receiving a single GOP vote. The result came despite Obama’s meetings with Republicans on Capitol Hill, his invitation to their leaders for cocktails at the White House, and the bipartisan guest list for his Super Bowl party last night. As early as today, he is expected to name a third Republican to his Cabinet — Sen. Judd Gregg (N.H.), as commerce secretary.
But the White House did not view the rejection of Obama’s initial bid at fostering bipartisanship as a stinging disappointment. Even as Obama was unable to pick up their votes, he was left with many Republicans praising his outreach. And judging by Obama’s record, it is this tone of mutual respect that — at least for now — he may be after as much as actual votes on bills he could pass without significant GOP backing