Obama’s Game May Be Picking Up — Even with Tougher Congress


donilon obama twn.jpg (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Barack Obama’s team is working better and delivering results that just weeks ago seemed out of reach. Tomorrow, I’m going to be offering thoughts on these results and how the Obama White House is gaining ground.
But as a preview, I think that the successes are tied to four key factors: (1) Barack Obama seems more comfortable holding the line and fighting the long fight rather than giving ground early in efforts to seduce his opponents; (2) Tom Donilon, Denis McDonough, John Brennan and the entire National Security Council team are just working better together and are sewn into Obama Land better than before; (3) Rahm is doing what he always should have been doing — staying in the spotlight as he runs for Mayor of Chicago; No one hears from the interim Chief of Staff Pete Rouse who is moving people, initiatives, and game plans so deftly that no one sess his hand (keep him!); and (4) Joe Biden and his apparatus not only have a killer batting average on the tough jobs Obama has given him (Russia, START, nuclear summitry, Iraq, keeping peace with the labor community) but his team in its entirety is woven in deeply as part of the Obama apparatus (no more David Addington cells).
More tomorrow, and while I admit that there have been significant failures, missteps, and occasional weak knees when Obama should have clung to the courage of his convictions, there have been heartening successes.
Momentum may have changed in the President’s favor — even while the Congress has become a higher hill.
— Steve Clemons

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