Obama looks to cut deals with McConnell: Presidential delusion or Senatorial duplicity?

obama mcconnell

Politico has an interesting story titled Obama turns to McConnell to secure his legacy. The thrust of the article is that Obama has been reduced to depending upon the kindness of strangers:

It’s not as if Obama and others in the White House have forgotten their history with McConnell, but he looks better than other potential partners. The president’s relationship with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s caucus has hit the rocks. He finds House Speaker John Boehner tedious and unreliable: Too many false starts and acrimonious endings have marred their relationship. House Democrats, for their part, are increasingly full of complaints about the president, but there will be so few of them come January that they’ll hardly matter.

Note that House minority leader Nancy Pelosi is not even mentioned.

Securing Obama’s legacy has also become a small, shrinking, and moving target. Rather than a signature accomplishment the administration is thinking small:

The White House also knows it has to move quickly. Administration officials believe there will be only about six months to move on the bipartisan agenda that Obama and his aides have identified around trade, infrastructure funding and perhaps even sentencing reform or early childhood education, before the 2016 presidential race takes center stage.

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Just before the elections I wrote about the nearly Fuehrer-in-the-bunker sense of delusion settling in on the White House. In it I quote from another Politico article:

As bad as the electoral map for Democrats is this year, the map for Republicans in 2016 is even worse. GOP incumbents are up in seven states President Barack Obama won twice and two he won once, including Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire, Rob Portman in Ohio, Ron Johnson in Wisconsin, Mark Kirk in Illinois and Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania.

Those senators, goes one thought circulating in the West Wing, would be under pressure to move toward the middle and be the bridge to larger deals with a caucus eager to show it can get things done.

Aides are discussing potential areas for agreement: tax reform, infrastructure, sentencing reform, renewing unemployment insurance, raising the minimum wage and expanding early childhood education.

What is shaping up is a massive case of Stockholm Syndrome on the part of a GOP Senate. For instance, from the New York Times:

This year, Mr. Rubio added, the new senators seem driven more by policy. “They’re coming up here not just to be against things, but to do things,” he said. …read more    

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