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Going it alone was not really Obama's message

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Listening to the President’s State of the Union remarks beginning to end last evening, the speech contained a consistent and familiar message. It held hope by example, including that of a veteran who was blown up in Afghanistan and climbed from a coma to standing with some help next to his father to the cheers of Congress and with a salute from the Commander in Chief. Inspiration, the speech had it.

Persistence is the example. The tone was non combative. It was independence. Since this Congress will never be on board with his basic agenda, he will persist with executive orders and actions by the administration to the limit of the law.

If Americans want to help, they will have to give to him a Democratic strong Congress in Election 2014.

The likeability scale is likely to make a little turnaround here. Raising the minimum wage will expand his audience.

He is sticking to his modest agenda and doing that he will accomplish what he has set out to do. The economy is ticking along and gaining momentum too. So, by next year, Democrats are in a better position barring any scandals and foreign policy disasters.

“Obama prepared to avoid Congress, go it alone on carrying out modest initiatives

By Scott Wilson, Published: January 28

This wasn’t the presidency Barack Obama had in mind after winning his historic election five years ago. But it is the one he believes he has left.

For the first time since taking office, Obama spoke to Congress on Tuesday evening from a clear position of confrontation, threatening to veto new Iran sanctions, warning against further moves against his health-care law and demanding action on a series of previously proposed economic measures.

The areas he identified for possible co­operation with a divided Congress have shrunk, leaving an agenda filled out by a growing number of modest initiatives that he told lawmakers he intends to carry out alone.

Among them is an executive order raising the minimum wage paid under future federal contracts. In a tone less resigned than dismissive, Obama said he intends to implement more than a dozen others this year, including efforts to improve job-training skills, technology in schools and fuel-efficiency standards in trucks.

The approach, outlined in a speech that ran more than a hour, reflects the White House’s view that Obama spent too much time last year in conflict with recalcitrant lawmakers, rather than using the unilateral powers in his grasp.

But the go-it-mostly-alone strategy risks further antagonizing Congress and resting part of his legacy on executive actions that do not have the permanence, or breadth, of major legislation.”



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