When It Comes to Worldview, Jack Lew is Obama in Coke-Bottle Glasses
January 09, 2013
Two years ago I was interviewing Tim Geithner when he started ticking off the ways he was poorly suited to being Treasury secretary late in Obama’s first term. Above all, he said, was the fact that the job was increasingly focused on questions of values and ideology—how the government should spend its scarce resources, who should get the shaft and who should pick up the tab—whereas Geithner saw himself as a financial technocrat. “A huge part of the economic challenge the president faces on this stuff is that it’s going to be at the center of the political debate,” he told me.
The GOP Division Over the Fiscal Cliff Is Not Going Away
January 07, 2013
No, there is not a civil war in the GOP—yet.
Obama Wasn't Rolled. He Won!
January 03, 2013
It is tempting, in view of Barack Obama’s re-election, to look back on his first term as a rousing success, but it was not. Obama got his initial stimulus and his healthcare bill, but he made political errors in the first two years that helped Republicans retake the House and a majority of governorships in a crucial redistricting year. And in 2011, he made back-room concessions on the budget that seriously imperiled the economic recovery. So I still don’t share Jon Chait’s halcyon view of the Obama presidency. But Obama learned from the difficulties of his first term.
On Sandy Relief, GOP Is Stiffing Its Own
January 02, 2013
GOP House leaders skipped town without voting on Sandy relief—sticking it to Republican voters.
The House Comes Around on the Cliff. Why Am I Not Reassured?
January 02, 2013
If you’re gaming out what’s likely to happen during the next fiscal showdown a few months from now, there are two ways to interpret the legacy of the cliff episode, which ended when the House approved the McConnell-Biden compromise last night. For Democrats, the optimistic take-away is that the two parties set up a mechanism for getting deals done, which is roughly as follows: First, the White House works out a compromise with Mitch McConnell, which passes the Senate with a bipartisan super-majority. This effectively isolates the House GOP and tells John Boehner the game is up.