Tales from the Trail

Obama’s Senate savvy is showing

May 25, 2010

Looks like President Barack Obama hasn’t forgotten his political roots in the Senate.

Presidents over the years have found one sure way to annoy members of Congress: act like you don’t care about them.

OBAMA/So when Obama took the rare step of going to their turf  to meet with just the Senate Republicans — the party that has pretty much stood in his way since he got elected — it showed some political savvy.

Whatever happens, the Republicans aren’t going to be able to cry that he never listens.

A love fest it wasn’t. But he did show up.

They talked about economic measures, the START treaty, his Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, immigration reform, and energy legislation.

As he left Capitol Hill, Obama told reporters: “It was a good, frank discussion on a whole range of issues.” (In Washington speak “frank” usually signals disagreement).

“Obviously, there were continued differences on some of these issues. But, the president believes that direct dialogue is better than posturing, and he was pleased to have the opportunity to share views with the conference,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

So how was it for the Republicans?

“We thought it was certainly worthwhile,” Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said. “Surely you didn’t think we were going to walk out of there and have some specific agreement on one of these issues. That was not anticipated by him or by us. I think coming up and talking is always a good sign.”

Senator George LeMieux said the meeting was cordial with some “moments of disagreement.” But, he added, “It was a good discussion. The president said that he was willing to go half way on issues or three-quarters of the way.”

One Republican, who didn’t want to be identified, said Senator Bob Corker told Obama it was “audacious” of him to come and talk about bipartisanship, given his track record on legislation such as banking reform.

“He needs to take a Valium before he comes in and talks to Republicans,” Senator Pat Roberts said, according to The Washington Post. “He’s pretty thin-skinned.”

Regardless of how they felt afterward, Republicans applauded the president entering and leaving the room.

Photo credit: Reuters/Larry Downing (Obama escorted into Senate Republican Caucus)

Comments
20 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

When the president and this bunch get together for a chat, some heated exchanges are to be expected. But we can do without the frequently confused senior senator from Kansas encouraging the chief executive to “take a valium” and not take matters “so seriously.”

Pat Roberts isn’t an especially sophisticated senator, but he should at least appreciate the larger situation. President Obama is leading in a time of multiple generational crises, all of which he inherited from a failed Republican administration. While he is trying to clean up the mess, Senate Republicans have opposed everything and taken institutional obstructionism to scandalous levels, without precedent in American history. On most of the major policy challenges, the same Senate Republican caucus has not only blocked reasonable proposals, it’s also spent a fair amount of time blatantly and shamelessly lying.

No compromise, no good faith negotiations, no willingness to meet in the middle, no understanding that elections have consequences. This is the position of the Senate Republican caucus for the last 16 months, no matter how much effort the White House invested in pointless “bipartisanship.” I can see why Obama might feel a little aggravated when talking to a group that helped create the mess, refuses to help clean up, and spends every waking moment attacking him for the way he’s fixing their mess.

And, as the latest gimmicks from the GOP like “YouCut” and the taxpayer funded “America Speaking Out” projects illustrate, they still don’t have any ideas of their own.

Posted by GetpIaning | Report as abusive
 

That’s called the opposition. We don’t elect people from different parties so everyone gets along like a big happy family.

It is very naive to think that the opposition will get along. They didn’t when the republicans were in power and they don’t now. Wow! Big surprise.

The president has a dismal 42 percent approval rating. No wonder no one wants to follow him. He doesn’t represent the views of the American people.

The previous post was pure nonsense from a professional partisan hack.

Good on the republicans for opposing what the majority of Americans want…Opposition from the opposition.

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive
 

How do you know the previous post was pure nonsense from a professional partisan hack, TyC? How do we know you’re not a professional partisan hack?

Posted by borisjimbo | Report as abusive
 

Okay borisjimbo. Pretend I didn’t write “professional partisan hack”.

My comments on the opposition still stand and the previous poster was blabbering pure nonsense.

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive
 

Boris, we all know that TC is not a paid partisan hack.

No one would pay for his pointless whining.

Posted by GetpIaning | Report as abusive
 

No one is whining, just saying what you said was pure nonsense.

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive
 

Also, no one said anything about being paid. Everything you write, you make up out of thin air.

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive
 

You are a whiner. I see other posters are also making the same observation. Go sit in the corner.

Posted by GetpIaning | Report as abusive
 

No whining whatsoever, except by you.

If you had a response that was worthwhile, you wouldn’t waste your time with your childish responses.

The opposition is not there to “get along”. Opposition to the other side will and does occur. That’s a fact that is hard for partisans, like you, to understand and to grasp.

I don’t need to remind you that Obama has a 45 percent approval rating (42 percent just a few days ago…Gallup 45 percent today…). Congress has a dismal 20 percent approval.

They don’t represent the views of the American people. Hell, 63 percent of the American people want the Health Care Law to be repealed (up from 58 percent when it was forced on us.).

You can cry about the republicans all you want and I don’t care what you say about it. The progressive democrats from President Obama down are all a disgrace who do not represent the American people.

The only posters who “cry” foul are progressives like you who don’t like hearing the truth. The polls show you are wrong….just plain wrong.

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive
 

You are a broken record, TC. And like a broken record, you are wrong 45 times a minute. You have never offered anything but the same negative message, and nothing constructive whatsoever. Everyone on this blog seems to agree with me, by the way.

Posted by GetpIaning | Report as abusive
 

That’s all you have getplaning….that’s all you have…nothing.

Broken record? You are the nattering nabob of negativism. You continually and without merit provide a negative message about anything republican while while completely ignoring the sins of the crooks (see Sestak and job offers…) you defend.

Everyone? As I said, every progressive liberal, like you. Not everyone. You really don’t have a grasp on any truth.

It doesn’t matter what you say, you are an empty vessel who is just…wrong…plain wrong.

So, where was I wrong? Obama 45 percent approval? No, that’s a fact. Congress 20 percent approval? No, that’s a fact.

Oh, and the opposition is not elected to “get along” with the opposition. They are elected to represent the views of those who elect them. No, that’s another fact.

You lose…end of story. Get lost…getplaning.

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive
 

You are a touchy sort, I enjoy your thin skinned smugness.

It isn’t a win or lose, but I can see you are that kind of individual. You must win. Well, here’s the thing. You are not the majority view with most of what you say.

Posted by GetpIaning | Report as abusive
 

lol…getplaning.

Not touchy at all. Interesting how this is a typical “pot calling the kettle black”. I am surprised you didn’t pick up on and comment on your use of the win lose argument in the past…more than once.

hahahahaha…you are funny. I am right and it makes you made…

Have a nice day…hahahaha.

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive
 

LOL…TC…

You are apparently too slow to realize I went back and copied your very own words to me from one of our exchanges a few weeks ago.

Your own words show how hypocritical you are again and again. Have a nice weekend, little black kettle…

Posted by GetpIaning | Report as abusive
 

getplaning.

I don’t care. It is obvious you lost this argument because you are going after the person rather than the message.

I don’t expect anything else from you. You are usually wrong no matter how much you and your paid staff want everyone to believe that you one sided partisan rhetoric is just that rhetoric that does not tell the truth.

I am finished with this thread. Have fun with the last word since I know you need it to make yourself feel good about yourself.

You are such an empty vessel.

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive
 

Let me again use your own words to prove your hypocritical nature, TC.

“The previous post was pure nonsense from a professional partisan hack.
The previous poster was blabbering pure nonsense.
That’s all you have getplaning….that’s all you have…nothing.
You are the nattering nabob of negativism.
You really don’t have a grasp on any truth.”

And then you follow all these personal attacks with this gem…

“It is obvious you lost this argument because you are going after the person rather than the message.”

I only made two points in this entire thread. The GOP doesn’t have an agenda, which apparently you agree with.

The second was your hypocritical nature, which is proven over and over with your every post. Apparently, you agree with this as well.

Posted by GetpIaning | Report as abusive
 

You are wrong.

It is your political view the democrats have all the answers. It is your view the republicans have no answers and that they should go along with the democrats.

I said the opposition isn’t elected to get along with the opposition. They are elected to represent the views of the people who elected them.

The president has a dismal 45 approval and congress has an embarassing 20 percent approval. No one has the answers. The democrats sure don’t. The American people agree with me. Otherwise the president would have that 65 percent approval he had well over a year ago.

The democrats don’t have the answers, like you want everyone to believe. The low approval rating of congress says no one has the answers people want. That includes democrats and republicans alike. End of story.

You are free to go back to demonizing the republicans while ignoring the sins of the democrats.

You are a whiz with words, but that doesn’t make you right. You have proven nothing unless you add the democrats to your analysis.

You won’t.

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive
 

I knew you couldn’t resist posting again, even after saying you were finished with this thread. I know I will never convince you of anything, TC, but that isn’t why I continue to post here.

No, I am not trying to prove anything to you, that’s obviously a waste of time.
It’s the other readers of this blog I am talking to, and your negative remarks directed at me and pretty much everyone else who posts here only help me make my points.

Posted by GetpIaning | Report as abusive
 

Have a nice Memorial Day!

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive
 

Thanks, you too

Posted by GetpIaning | Report as abusive
 

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