Thursday, October 14, 2010

Managing expectations? Or undercutting Democratic Congressional prospects in November?

This is a puzzling and troubling report by Peter Nicholas and Christi Parsons, Obama reshapes administration for a fresh strategy Los Angeles Times 10/06/2010. It reads like stenography, and David Axelrod was on the record in supporting the basic message:

As President Obama remakes his senior staff, he is also shaping a new approach for the second half of his term: to advance his agenda through executive actions he can take on his own, rather than pushing plans through an increasingly hostile Congress.

A flurry of staff departures and promotions is playing out as the White House ends a nearly two-year period of intense legislative activity. Where the original staff was built to give Obama maximum clout in Congress, the new White House team won't need the same leverage with lawmakers.

"It's fair to say that the next phase is going to be less about legislative action than it is about managing the change that we've brought," White House senior advisor David Axelrod said in an interview.
This sounds like: forget about the Employee Free Choice Act. And comprehensive immigration reform. And tougher financial regulations. And don't even think about adding that public option to health care reform.

It's also probably not a good wager to bet that Obama and the Senate Democrats will push to abolish the filibuster rule.

Is the White House consciously trying to cut the Congressional wing of the Democratic Party loose in hopes that will increase Obama's re-election chances? Are are they just blundering along with this stuff?

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