Tags: Barack Obama | Obama | lame-duck | Senate | cooperation

Politico: Obama Looking to Sen. McConnell to Salvage His Presidency

By    |   Monday, 17 November 2014 08:25 AM

President Barack Obama will find himself relying on a constructive relationship with incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell so as to salvage the final two years of his presidency, Politico reported.

White House officials say the president has turned to McConnell at critical times in the past and the Kentucky lawmaker has taken up the call. Sources in the White House had positive things to say about McConnell.

"As Obama and his aides consider life with a Republican-controlled Congress, they look at the incoming majority leader as the only person on Capitol Hill who can help deliver on a second-term legacy achievement," Politico said.

Politico notes that the two had an adversarial relationship in the early days of the Obama administration, when McConnell pledged to make him a one-term president.

"McConnell was dead set on jamming the president, and that defined the relationship until now," a senior administration official told Politico, adding that now, "McConnell and Obama are starting from scratch."

Cooperation between the two could require delicacy to avoid upsetting Democratic lawmakers or creating tension for McConnell with House Speaker John Boehner.

The first test of the new working relationship will come as Obama seeks to have confirmed 275 nominees who have to date been stalled by Republican gridlock. The White House has already been working with both McConnell's and Reid's offices to strike a deal to get approval for many of them, Politico reported.

For his part, McConnell has indicated he is skeptical that the president will be pursuing a path of compromise, recently suggesting so in public comments about the president's recent moves on immigration and climate change.

"The problem is the president continues to send signals he has no intention of moving towards the middle," McConnell said in a meeting last week with the incoming class of Senate GOP freshman, according to Politico.

"I've said before that I hope we can do some business on trade and maybe tax reform. First indications have not been very hopeful."

Nevertheless, senior administration officials say McConnell is someone with whom they can work.

"McConnell is literally the kind of person you can work with on anything if he wants to be in on the deal," the official told Politico.

And the president himself said publicly of McConnell, "He has always been very straightforward with me. To his credit, he has never made a promise that he couldn't deliver."

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President Obama will find himself relying on a constructive relationship with incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell so as to salvage the final two years of his presidency, Politico reported.
Obama, lame-duck, Senate, cooperation
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2014-25-17
Monday, 17 November 2014 08:25 AM
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