What tone is the president trying to set for second term?
Assessing challenges that lay ahead for Obama
- Duration 4:19
- Date Jan 14, 2013
Assessing challenges that lay ahead for Obama
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On this let's talk with David -- he is the associate politics editor for roll call there is a great deal of thought that goes into the timing -- the calling of these presidential news conferences the president usually has some.
Major point he wants to make why now why today David.
Well part of it is that the first term is winding down there's just a week left and and even outgoing presidents tend to get a news conference trying to sort of set the agenda for what they accomplished.
When they're on their way out if they're on their way out I think in this case the president really wants to stay on offense on the debt ceiling.
We know we're gonna have a major clash between him and the house Republicans and senate Republicans.
Well on the debt ceiling the president wants and bill giving him make clean increase in the nation's borrowing limit Republicans want a lot of spending cuts and and probably entitlement reform.
In exchange for granting him that and I think that he he's had the upper hand politically on this in part because.
He has defined the terrain.
In this rhetorically and I think he wants to continue that.
Good second terms generally have not been kind to incumbent presidents George W.
Tried to reform Social Security got shot down there were problems with.
The federal response to Hurricane Katrina there was the Iraq War.
He also had you know Bill Clinton everybody remembers what happened in his second term what are the potential problems that lie ahead for this president.
Well I think any president who who wins a second term I think clearly wants to get a lot accomplished they feel very freed up politically to do the things they always hoped -- be able to do when they figure that.
The voters in a sense just endorsed them and endorsed everything they said they were gonna do that's.
Actually usually not the case a lot of times voters just decided -- like the incumbent better than the other guy trusted him more -- the guy he was running against.
And and a lot of times you have members of congress even from your own party can figure what you're hearing here on your way out either two years from now or four years from now.
What do we have to stick our neck out for big things when you're not gonna have to pay the price but we will we'd like to stick around for awhile now having said that.
It's important remember that for all the problems that Bill Clinton in effect had in his second term.
He actually picked up seats his party did in the 1998 mid terms and when you look at George W.
Bush and his presidency.
Republicans have been in control of congress.
For a dozen years and there was a general -- over and rejection of Republicans running everything in town and we've that was reflected in the results of the 06 mid terms here Republicans control.
The House of Representatives and that is something I think the president is gonna highlight in a sense to say give me more freedom in latitude in my last two years and Democrats can accomplish a lot.
And -- you have to kind of look at both sides of the equation as you try to figure out what kind of second term he'll have to.
But we've got this economic recovery if you can call it that that is very anemic you've got unemployment.
Pushing near 8% and and if the labor participation rate were the same as it.
Was when he took off office it would be over 10%.
There's an awful lot of bad news out there and that's not to include information about Iran and its pursuit of a nuclear weapon.
So by focusing on on the debt ceiling fight as the president sold sort of holding out -- shiny object for the press.
To capture attention.
Look I I think whether the -- I think you're right that there's a lot of pitfalls out there for the president things we haven't thought of foreign policy crises yet to come.
And an economy that has been sluggish that a couple of things to realize though first of all the economy has not been in that -- shape and the president was reelected nonetheless.
And so while eventually I think voters might get a little fed up with his economic stewardship you know they might not -- and secondly whether the president wants -- Hold up shiny objects for the press or not we know -- debt ceiling fight is gonna come to a head we know it's going to be a major clash.
And the president wants to maintain the upper hand here hand and it's not so much about.
What you -- I might think he's really going on it's what voters think is going on how they see things.
And he wants to maintain his image as the reasonable rational -- Rational guy verses -- you know a band of Republicans he wants to paint as extreme out of touch and unreasonable also will -- -- looking for an accomplished.
We'll look for him to suggest an application of this at his news conference David Drucker what that's correct that's what it's all about now we'll have to leave it there thanks David.