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Obama post-bloodbath: Harder to govern, easier to win in 2012

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The Democratic slaughter Tuesday will make it harder for President Obama to govern -- but might make it easier for him to win re-election in 2012.

The Obama White House will shift into re-election mode in a few months, and the 2012 presidential campaign headquarters will be Chicago again, if all goes as planned. But for now, a lot of attention on the political front will have to be on dealing with a GOP-controlled House and a Senate where Republican gains will make it harder to get the 60 votes needed to get anything done. Obama will reach out to Republicans during his press conference today.

The Democratic slaughter Tuesday will make it harder for President Obama to govern -- but might make it easier for him to win re-election in 2012.

The Obama White House will shift into re-election mode in a few months, and the 2012 presidential campaign headquarters will be Chicago again, if all goes as planned. But for now, a lot of attention on the political front will have to be on dealing with a GOP-controlled House and a Senate where Republican gains will make it harder to get the 60 votes needed to get anything done. Obama will reach out to Republicans during his press conference today.

The Obama team is bracing for what is coming under a GOP-run House, something we saw during former President Bill Clinton's years in office. There will be lots of House congressional investigations and subpoenas from committees with new Republican chairs. But sometime after the new year, the Obama political focus will not just be on presumed Speaker John Boehner, the Ohio Republican, but on the Republicans potentially in the running for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.

Given the new climate Tuesday's election results created -- a repudiation of the Obama agenda -- one could argue that Republicans taking some responsibility for governing is not the worst thing for Obama.

Obama passed his major items -- health care and Wall Street reform, to name two -- only with Democratic votes. The contrast between Democrats and Republicans will be drawn more sharply as Republican leaders wrangle with new members in their caucus -- some of whom are in Congress with the help of Tea Party activists -- who will have their own strong ideas on what they want to do.

Heading into 2012 -- especially if unemployment and home foreclosures remain high -- not having sole ownership of the economy is not such a bad development for Obama.

Those who see Tuesday's results as an indication that Obama cannot be re-elected are wrong. An embarrassment, yes. But after House Republicans swept to power in 1994, Clinton won re-election in 1996 with 49.2 percent of the vote to 40.7 percent for then-Sen. Bob Dole and 8.4 percent for Ross Perot.

The Obama administration prudently loaded a lot of its major initiatives in the first two years, with Democrats in control of the House and Senate, so the shift will likely be an emphasis on regulations more than legislation. The era of passing major legislation may be over, leaving undone matters very important to the Democratic base: immigration reform, environment measures known as cap and trade, repeal of the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy and "card check," which unions want to make it easier to organize.

Republicans have vowed to repeal the new health care and Wall Street laws -- just as the Obama administration in the coming months will be writing regulations on how these new programs will be implemented. Immigration and climate change/energy proposals might stay shelved.

"Unless there is a dramatic change in Republican strategy," Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told me, "where they are prepared to sit down and work with this president over the next two years, I'm afraid most of our efforts are going to be stopping bad things from happening."

11 Comments

I don't understand how Obama got sole ownership of the country's woes in the first place. It was the red portion of the country that flushed us down this toilet that we call dear ole america in the first place.

Soon to be Speaker Boehner ( who by the way, Proudly stood side by side with a Nazi sympathizer, someone who puts on the Nazi uniform) stated that the GOP tidal wave is definitely not a time for celebration. He certainly got that right, because this is a time for Woe! And by the way the Tea-Partiers, will be their worse "nightmare".

But, it will be average Americans who will get hurt by this tidal wave of destruction, which will not bring in anything good for the people. It came to me watching this debauchle, this "tidal wave of destruction", that it is the North vs. the South all over again, in another cleverly disquised form, and sometimes not so disquised. I mean when they say take their country back, take it back from whom?

And, its's amazing to me the "fickleness" of the American people to go back and elect GOP operatives that brought this country to the brink of ruin and catastophre. The GOP Party is obviously a group for big business and corporations and Not a group for the People! They are not even for small businesses, though they pretend to be. If they were for small business, than why are there so many large Wal-marts, Lowes, Home Depots, so that the small mom and pop operations are squeezed out of business. Democrats even have to fight the GOP to get them to extend UE benefits when needed, especially when GOP know that the jobs are just not here anymore due to their policies of outsourcing good jobs to China and India. Does anyone have a heart or compassion in this Party?

I feel sorry for average Americans who continue to shoulder the tax burdens because the wealthy and big Corporations pay very little or no taxes at all due loopholes, which is just another way of lying and cheating and getting over on the American people. If the American people want more money in their wallets, than they should go about getting the wealthy to pay their fair share once again.

We can only pray that the people will eventually see through GOP lies and deceptions and get off the "yellow brick road" to nowhere, before its too late!

OMG-you really believe what you've written? We will take out Obby and the rest of his ilk in 2012.

Mr. President Barack Obama, I am proud of you! Thank you for the boldness taking a chance and run for President of the United States. I prayed for you and your family's safety while on the presidential campaign trail.

Your quest has reminded of of another great Black man whom took a chance and that was Chicago's Mayor Harold Washington.

The old Beirut by the Lake scenario has been mild in contrast to the World War II type atmosphere encompassing your administration. I won't waste time listing all the characters. Everyone know who they are.

Please do NOT put your family through another election cycle.

GOD BLESS YOU MR. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA!!

Tour article should have included that the middle and low income class people will see in the next two years how the Republicans will damage their lives socially and economically. Additionally, your article should include how racism is so prevalent that people are willing to put aside their needs because they don't want an African American for President.

President Obama was never given a chance because people are inpatient and expect change immediately.

you guys are all so ignorant, do you realize in Obamas first 8 months our unemployment has gone up by 4.6% now its up to 10% in our country.. do you know what thats like millions of americans without jobs? Thank God the GOP has taken over, please do yourself a favor and look up Bush vs Obama. Obama is the worst thing to ever happen to this country.. HES NOT EVEN AMERICAN!! lol how dare this article say he can win in 2012... CLINTON was actually a decent president, obama is absolutely terrible.. liberals are the scum of the universe.

Americans have a limited attention span. That new wave of red is filled with silly folks who believe that things such as 'reality tv' are real. They enjoy commercials. They enjoy tv over books (who needs books or even libraries anymore?) Cable tv is absorbed into their consciousness.

I've seen reasonable looking people outside my post office with "impeach Obama" signs. Why? What did he do? Does anyone who's against healthinsurance reform really know what it's about? None of them will read this far into my post, so I'm not worried about adverse responses. Have any of them really (I mean REALLY) read our Constitution or know our forefathers intent? No, they repeat what they hear in a 22 minute news/pundit/commentary cycle & soothe themselves with the commercials.

HOWEVER, Mr. Obama and his people have to start playing the game just like the republicans do or he will be taken out. KEEP THE SOUND BITES SIMPLE! "Party of 'NO'" was fantastic. Directing republican venom at Nancy Pilosi was genius.
SIMPLE AND STUPID wins elections. So, IMHO, Obama has to come down from the ivory tower to win. No one cares about what's right or wrong - the message just has to be catchy.

Good luck, Mr. President. I still dig you.

Hi Mr President:

First I would to say thank you Mr President Barack Obama for your wise decision to run for the presidency of the United States, you have save many live around the world for your strong leadership skilled, you put in place. You have reach across the racial line in the United States and abroad. You have reduced tension around the world at this time of fears between countries. You have brought the people together; you have inspirited your country generations, and the world at large. I believe the history will judge you, and you will remain one of the best Presidents of the United States.
Thanks you sir.

I'm really tired of these racist conservative republicans. They always say "No" to anything that helps the american people especially minoroties. Right wing Conservatism is really just a cover for racism. Their "Contract with Satan" might have given them power. But one day Satan is going to collect. They always say we have to cut spending anytime we want "our" tax money to go back into America. Yet they spend billions overseas. If you are a moderate republican Why don't you take your party back first from the hatred and racism of the right wing conservatives.

Liberals are not the only scum of the earth racist people ar too.

Obama = a cheerleader of the reps = extension of oil wars

Jobs ahead in another Bush era ( = Entire Downfall ) ??
I think D.S. is going to realize vividly how Bush era wrecked economy.
 
Of the money by the money for the money bound for corruption, greed is getting a society nowhere near prosperity.
Gambling on party of "no idea" is sure to be much like Throwing an Egg of Economy Against a Rock.

I think Corrupt Money & Almost Dead Media led Independents to Fuel GOP Gains

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on November 3, 2010 12:46 AM.

Rahm Emanuel on GOP retaking House: Seeking comfort with Jack Daniels was the previous entry in this blog.

President Obama official schedule and guidance, Nov. 3, 2010. Press conference in wake of GOP sweeps is the next entry in this blog.

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