News / USA

Obama Looks for Political Comeback

Obama Looks for Political Comeback in 2014i
X
January 14, 2014 6:59 PM
2014 will be a busy political year in the United States. President Barack Obama will outline his policy priorities when he delivers his State of the Union address on January 28. In November, voters will head to the polls to elect a new Congress, an outcome with potentially enormous political stakes for the president, as well as for lawmakers from both major political parties. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has a political preview from Washington.

Obama Looks for Political Comeback in 2014

TEXT SIZE - +
— 2014 will be a busy political year in the United States. President Barack Obama will outline his policy priorities when he delivers his State of the Union address on January 28. In November, voters will head to the polls to elect a new Congress, an outcome with potentially enormous political stakes for the president, as well as for lawmakers from both major political parties.

During last year's State of the Union address, Obama enjoyed a warm reception, fresh off his 2012 re-election victory.

“There is much progress to report,” said the president.

But 2013 proved to be a difficult political year for the president, primarily because of the rocky launch of his health care law.

Economic focus

Obama hopes to shift the focus this year to narrowing the income gap between the very rich and the middle class.

“In other words, we have got to make sure that this recovery leaves nobody behind and we have got a lot of work to do on that front,” he said.

Republicans are expected to continue to hammer away at the president’s health care law this year, said Republican strategist Ron Bonjean. “It is health care at this point. It is the incompetence going on within the Obama administration on how that is being handled.”

Slowing the growth of social welfare programs also is a Republican priority, according to House Speaker John Boehner.

“The president refuses, and Democrats, refuse to discuss changes to those programs unless Republicans are willing to raise taxes. We are not going to raise taxes,” said Boehner.

Expect Obama to highlight some encouraging signs in the U.S. economy and the issue of income disparity, said Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution.

“How is the economy doing, and that is both jobs and growth and wages. But behind that is economic inequality and the ‘Two Americas’ issue,” said Mann.

Political maneuvering

Second-term presidents often have trouble regaining their political clout, said analyst John Fortier. “Usually presidents see their popularity ebb away a bit. They are often facing a Congress of the other party or at least part of the Congress, and so the president does not have the ability to work his agenda through the Congress as he did at the beginning of his first term.”

Also, Fortier added that political battles leading up to the November congressional elections are likely to dominate this year.

“The long term trend in midterm elections is that they go against the president. I think the big question for Republicans is 'can they get enough seats to win the Senate?'” said Fortier.

All 435 seats in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives will be at stake this year, along with one-third of the Democratically-controlled Senate and 36 state governorships.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid