Obama: Now it’s all about 2014

Aware that the GOP won't deal, a report says the president's determined to take control of the House in 2014

Topics: Barack Obama, Congress, John Boehner, Washington Post, ,

Obama: Now it's all about 2014President Obama (Credit: AP/Ed Andrieski)

President Obama has apparently given up on the idea that the GOP majority in the House will work with him, Instead, he will actively work to elect a Democratic majority in 2014, according to a story in Sunday’s Washington Post.

The Post reports that almost immediately after his re-election, Obama began working behind the scenes to win back the lower chamber and attempt to secure his legacy. The plan, the paper suggests, is to nationalize the 2014 race around issues which have popular public appeal — gun control, immigration reform, the minimum wage, climate change and others — but little chance of moving through the House.

Obama used his State of the Union to begin to build support for his agenda, and has continued in campaign mode over recent weeks to illustrate the effects of the sequester cuts on the economy. The Post says he’ll continue to voice his frustration that popular legislation can’t move through the House.

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

Democrats would need to turn 17 House seats blue to take control. History stands against them: it is exceptionally rare for an incumbent president’s party to gain seats in the House in the mid-term election of a second term. They’d also have to overcome an aggressively gerrymandered Congress; Democratic congressional candidates won some 550,000 more votes than Republican candidates in 2012, and that still was not enough to win a majority of seats.

You Might Also Like

According to the Post, the president has also pledged to raise money for Democratic congressional campaigns and to use his political operation on their behalf. He has already committed to four times as many Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraisers in 2013 than he did in 2009, the Post reports, when some Democrats complained that the president did not do enough to ensure his party kept control of the House.

“The president understands that to get anything done, he needs a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives,” Rep. Steve Israel, the New York congressman who chairs the DCCC, told the paper. “To have a legacy in 2016, he will need a House majority in 2014, and that work has to start now.

“If 2012 was a referendum on President Obama, then 2014 will be a referendum on the tea party Congress,” Israel said. “And the president and House Democrats are joined at the hip on this.”

David Daley is the editor-in-chief of Salon

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 13
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    DAYA  
    Young Daya has yet to become entirely jaded, but she has the character's trademark skeptical pout down pat. And with a piece-of-work mother like Aleida -- who oscillates between jealousy and scorn for her creatively gifted daughter, chucking out the artwork she brings home from summer camp -- who can blame her?

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    MORELLO   
    With her marriage to prison penpal Vince Muccio, Lorna finally got to wear the white veil she has fantasized about since childhood (even if it was made of toilet paper).

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    CINDY   
    Cindy's embrace of Judaism makes sense when we see her childhood, lived under the fist of a terrifying father who preached a fire-and-brimstone version of Christianity. As she put it: "I was raised in a church where I was told to believe and pray. And if I was bad, I’d go to hell."

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    CAPUTO   
    Joey Caputo has always tried to be a good guy, whether it's offering to fight a disabled wrestler at a high school wrestling event or giving up his musical ambitions to raise another man's child. But trying to be a nice guy never exactly worked out for him -- which might explain why he decides to take the selfish route in the Season 3 finale.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    BOO   
    In one of the season's more moving flashbacks, we see a young Boo -- who rejected the traditional trappings of femininity from a young age -- clashing with her mother over what to wear. Later, she makes the decision not to visit her mother on her deathbed if it means pretending to be something she's not. As she puts it, "I refuse to be invisible, Daddy. Not for you, not for Mom, not for anybody.”

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    SOSO
    We still don't know what landed Brooke Soso in the slammer, but a late-season flashback suggests that some seriously overbearing parenting may have been the impetus for her downward spiral.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    POUSSEY
    We already know a little about Poussey's relationship with her military father, but this season we saw a softer side of the spunky fan-favorite, who still pines for the loving mom that she lost too young.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    PENNSATUCKY
    Pennsatucky had something of a redemption arc this season, and glimpses of her childhood only serve to increase viewer sympathy for the character, whose mother forced her to chug Mountain Dew outside the Social Security Administration office and stripped her of her sexual agency before she was even old enough to comprehend it.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    CHANG
    This season, we got an intense look at the teenage life of one of Litchfield's most isolated and underexplored inmates. Rebuffed and scorned by her suitor at an arranged marriage, the young Chinese immigrant stored up a grudge, and ultimately exacted a merciless revenge.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    HEALY
    It's difficult to sympathize with the racist, misogynist CO Sam Healy, but the snippets we get of his childhood -- raised by a mentally ill mother, vomited on by a homeless man he mistakes for Jesus when he runs to the church for help -- certainly help us understand him better.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    NORMA
    This season, we learned a lot about one of Litchfield's biggest enigmas, as we saw the roots of Norma's silence (a childhood stutter) and the reason for her incarceration (killing the oppressive cult leader she followed for decades).

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    NICKI
    While Nicki's mother certainly isn't entirely to blame for her daughter's struggles with addiction, an early childhood flashback -- of an adorable young Nicki being rebuffed on Mother's Day -- certainly helps us understand the roots of Nicki's scarred psyche.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>