President Barack Obama’s influence is disappearing to the point that he is just a “minor actor on Capitol Hill” and even Democrats believe he is doing little but get in the way, Karl Rove has charged.
“No president is ever irrelevant, but less than 10 weeks into his second term Mr. Obama’s power is waning,” Rove writes in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal. “Even members of his own party view him as an obstacle to getting things done.”
Powerful Democrats such as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are taking the initiative with Obama’s own programs such as gun control and immigration reform, Rove claims. “On issue after issue, Mr. Obama is being routinely ignored or rebuffed.”
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The former White House aide adds, “Bipartisan groups of senators and congressmen are doing the difficult work of writing detailed immigration reform legislation. Mr. Reid — contrary to the president’s wishes — took it upon himself to sculpt a gun control bill that doesn’t include Mr. Obama’s bans on so-called ‘assault weapons’ and, perhaps, limits on the capacity of ammunition clips.”
Then there’s the matter of a White House budget. “Astonishingly, little importance in all this has been attached to the president’s budget,” Rove writes. “Mr. Obama was required by law to deliver one to Congress by Feb. 4. He has yet to do so. It hardly seems to matter: congressional leaders plowed ahead anyway.”
The budget is a symbol of Obama’s shrinking importance, Rove says. “Mr. Obama has become a minor actor on Capitol Hill. On a growing array of issues, members of both parties have come to understand that progress is more likely with the president on the sideline.”
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