Stymied by a GOP House, Obama looks ahead to 2014 to cement his legacy

Scott Wilson and Philip Rucker
The Washington Post

President Obama, now facing the consequences of automatic spending cuts and the complications they raise for his broader domestic agenda, is taking the most specific steps of his administration in an attempt to ensure the election of a Democratic­-controlled Congress in two years.

“What I can’t do is force Congress to do the right thing,” Obama told reporters at the White House on Friday after a fruitless meeting with Republican leaders to avert the country’s latest fiscal crisis, known as the sequester. “The American people may have the capacity to do that.”

Obama, fresh off his November reelection, began almost at once executing plans to win back the House in 2014, which he and his advisers believe will be crucial to the outcome of his second term and to his legacy as president. He is doing so by trying to articulate for the American electorate his own feelings — an exasperation with an opposition party that blocks even the most politically popular elements of his agenda.

Obama has committed to raising money for fellow Democrats, agreed to help recruit viable candidates, and launched a political nonprofit group dedicated to furthering his agenda and that of his congressional allies. The goal is to flip the Republican-held House back to Democratic control, allowing Obama to push forward with a progressive agenda on gun control, immigration, climate change and the economy during his final two years in office, according to congressional Democrats, strategists and others familiar with Obama’s thinking.

“The president understands that to get anything done, he needs a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives,” said Rep. Steve Israel (N.Y.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “To have a legacy in 2016, he will need a House majority in 2014, and that work has to start now.”

This approach marks a significant shift in the way Obama has worked with a divided Congress. He has compromised and badgered, but rarely — and never so early — campaigned to change its composition…

…The president has also pledged to put his formidable campaign organization, now known as Organizing for Action, behind Democratic House candidates and to find ways to share its rich trove of voter data with the party’s campaign committee…

…a Boehner spokesman, Brendan Buck, said the president “would like nothing more than to have complete liberal control of Congress for his last two years in office.”

“Just look at what he’s doing now,” Buck said, referring to the sequester. “He’s not even negotiating at this point. It’s purely political theater.”…

The article, with video, continues at The Washington Post.

Related: Bill O’Reilly, “The reason why Obama is not trying to solve the fiscal chaos”

Update: The Astute Bloggers Email tells feds to make sequester as painful as promised:

…“This email confirms what many Americans have suspected: The Obama administration is doing everything they can to make sure their worst predictions come true and to maximize the pain of the Sequester cuts for political gain,” said Rep. Tim Griffin, Arkansas Republican…

Read the whole thing.

Also, Obama Campaign Lies, Fundraises Off Sequestration Threats

President Obama’s personal campaign fired off the following email today. It uses a graphic created by the Center for American Progress (Soros-funded leftist outfit) to push for a tax hit on corporate

Update 2:  Leaked Email: Obama Caught “Faking” Impact of Sequester

Also, Louie Gohmert Files Amendment to Continuing Resolution: No More Public Funds to Transport Obama to the Golf Course


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