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September 23, 2012

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Karl Miller

I think the post-election leverage change will fall mostly on Obama's veto pen -- if he dares to weild it. All the brinksmanship of the past couple years came down to an election gambit and if the President overcomes that by winning re-election, the republican caucus will have to go back to their jobs instead of the President's. This presumes Obama throws down some markers with his veto pen, of course, and he started to in his conventions speech. But note how the same phenomenon happened after W got re-elected -- there the siituation was different, but the same lame duck dynamic was in play: after standing should-to-shoulder with W for four years, his own caucus was too shagged out to follow him on immigration and social security reform. By consolidating all their political ambitions into the defeat of the president, they will, as a practical matter, be far less successful in a second Obama term.

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