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

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

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid