Tags: Trump Administration | Barack Obama | democrats | obama | 2016 | legacy | elections

Dems 2016 Quandary: Run from Obama Record or Embrace It?

Image: Dems 2016 Quandary: Run from Obama Record or Embrace It?
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By    |   Monday, 05 Jan 2015 01:26 PM

A liberal champion or a big-time failure: That's the tough decision facing Democrats as they head into the 2016 election cycle and wonder how to portray President Barack Obama's time in office and frame that narrative as talking points, Politico reports.

"Should Democrats marshal all the positive data available to make the case that Obama’s record proved activist government worked, bolstering the case for an extra helping of liberalism to solve outstanding problems?

"Or should Democrats keep Obama at a distance, and treat the past six years as just another chapter in the decades-long assault on the middle-class, proving that Obama’s watered-down compromises were incapable of eradicating the rules rigged for the top 1 percent?" Politico writes.

In recent months, some Democrats have publicly sounded off negatively on Obama as he settles into a lame-duck presidency and uses his pen to move his agenda along — minus any buy-in from Congress.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has slammed him in speeches for overlooking the middle class and pandering to Wall Street, while Sen. Chuck Schumer turned heads in a speech at the National Press Club when he set off "second-guessing Obama’s decision to prioritize health care reform before the economy healed," Politico said.

"If President Barack Obama had approval ratings safely above 50 percent, and the middle-class was flush, Democrats would have no hesitation wrapping themselves in the Obama banner," Politico added.

"Instead, Democrats will face an Obama record that can be interpreted as either a historic advance of liberalism or a colossal disappointment, and on which the public mood appears to be shifting back and forth across the line."

Public opinion surveys have tracked Obama's rise and fall as he bounces among recent policy decisions. His recent announcement on normalizing relations with Cuba pushed him up to a dead-even approval rate according to Gallup's end of year presidential tracking survey, The Washington Post reported as the president vacationed far from political critics in Hawaii.

The shift into favorable territory came after Obama had spent "450 days in negative territory," Politico said.

Obama's fracture within his own party was on display last month, as a new spending bill was passed but as Democrats complained. Some urged their colleagues to be strong as a new GOP-led Congress begins its work this month, The Los Angeles Times said.

"At the heart of this dispute — and the likely clashes coming in the New Year — are the conflicting motivations of a legacy-minded president and comeback-focused Democrats," the Times said.

"While Democrats are searching for ways to flex their muscle after an electoral drubbing in November, the president is looking for ways to tally up some legislative accomplishments before he leaves office. That goal will inevitably mean working with the new Republican majority in the Senate."

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A liberal champion or a big-time failure: That's the tough decision facing Democrats as they head into the 2016 election cycle and wonder how to portray President Barack Obama's time in office and frame that narrative as talking points, Politico reports.
democrats, obama, 2016, legacy, elections
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2015-26-05
Monday, 05 Jan 2015 01:26 PM
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