Obama’s Legacy as a Partisan

by John Sides on January 21, 2013 · 4 comments

in Presidency

Hence the basic irony inherent in the Obama presidency: He campaigned as a post-partisan, but his most lasting accomplishments will be those of a partisan.

This is the conclusion of a new piece I have at the Huffington Post. It follows up on something I wrote way back in September 2008, when I was skeptical Obama’s campaign rhetoric about changing the way Washington works.  My skepticism was largely born out by events since then.

My piece is part of a HuffPo series on Obama’s second term.  For some polisci-oriented perspectives, see Sarah on the 113th Congress, Mark Blumenthal on the bully pulpit, Robert Stoker on Social Security, and Elizabeth Rigby on poverty.

 

{ 4 comments }

Jerry Ochs January 21, 2013 at 9:04 pm

I think “born out” should be “borne out”.

Jim January 22, 2013 at 2:09 pm

But was there any other way for Obama (or any other president) to navigate the current congressional climate? I think Obama believed his rhetoric in 2008, and his early willingness to try to work with and compromise with Republicans who had no legitimate interest in bipartisanship is evidence of this. To accomplish anything Obama had to act as a partisan, and will continue to do so, but I think it is more because he has become cynical about the prospects for real compromise, and rightly so.

pretendous January 23, 2013 at 1:55 am

same as it ever was

chris January 24, 2013 at 4:47 pm

I agree with Jim — you can only be as bipartisan as the other party lets you be, and when they declare their #1 objective to be preventing your reelection, that isn’t very.

Still, I guess the Republicans are going to need a new goal now. It might be something Obama could cooperate with them on, but I kind of doubt it. (The cynical prediction would be “capture enough Senate seats in 2014 to successfully impeach Obama before he finishes his second term”.)

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