Bill of Sale
12-10-2010
I'm watching the highly public falling out between House Democrats and President Obama on tax policy, and guessing that some folks in the White House realize that having Obama mix it up with the unpopular left wing of his own party is actually smart political strategy. I’ve written previously about why progressives don’t seem to be effectively internalizing the lessons of the 2010 midterm election, and this latest episode is further confirmation of that circumstance.
 
In contrast, Obama has finally cracked open his autographed copy of the Bill Clinton handbook of political triangulation and electoral rejuvenation. For anyone who closely followed the legislative wrangling surrounding both the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Welfare Reform during the Clinton Administration, the current debate over extending the Bush tax cuts offers much the same opportunity for Obama to build a coalition (or series of coalitions on different issues) to take back the political center before 2012. The significance of President Clinton appearing in the White House pressroom with President Obama after their meeting today should not be lost any Democrats.


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