Obama's Relationship With Reid, Senate Sours

Tuesday, 04 Oct 2011 12:39 PM

By Dan Weil

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Things seem to be falling apart for President Barack Obama on all fronts. Now it’s the Senate Democratic leadership that is getting fed up with him, The Hill reports.

With Obama’s approval rating below 45 percent and key Senate races coming up next year, vulnerable Democrats see the president as an obstacle to their re-election efforts. Obama has railed against Congress as a whole, at times not even distinguishing between Republicans and Democrats. He gives the indication that in an attempt to save his own job, he may frame his re-election bid as a run against Congress.

Obama has had several recent conflicts over minor issues with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his deputies.

Democratic senators say Obama needs to keep closer contact with them. “I think one of the problems with the White House is that it’s been too set apart. It’s been too Chicago-centric, and it needs to get out,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. “Clinton didn’t just talk to four leaders, he picked up the phone, and he kind of said, ‘I really need your vote on this.’ ”

Others go further than Feinstein, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., who is running for re-election next year, said she won’t appear with Obama in Missouri Tuesday, citing the Senate’s busy schedule.

One Democratic aide, whose boss seeks re-election in a swing state, said about Obama: “There are no coattails.”

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