News / USA

Analyst: Obama Facing More Confrontations

Norman Ornstein, political analyst at the American Enterprise Institute, speaks with VOA in a recent interview. Norman Ornstein, political analyst at the American Enterprise Institute, speaks with VOA in a recent interview.
x
Norman Ornstein, political analyst at the American Enterprise Institute, speaks with VOA in a recent interview.
Norman Ornstein, political analyst at the American Enterprise Institute, speaks with VOA in a recent interview.
Pamela Dockins
The showdown between President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans over deep spending cuts in the federal budget is "one of a rolling set of confrontations ahead," according to American Enterprise Institute political analyst Norman Ornstein.

In an interview with VOA's Press Conference USA, Ornstein predicted the Democratic president would face a series of such face-offs with Republican lawmakers over government spending and taxes during his second and final term.
 

The first stage of mandated spending cuts, known as sequestration, took effect on March 1. About $85 billion is being cut from the budgets of government agencies as part of a plan that could lead to $1.2 trillion in cuts over 10 years.
 

Meanwhile, congressional Republicans and Democrats have been debating provisions to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year and avoid a possible government shutdown later this month if no deal is reached.

Ornstein said that while Americans generally oppose the sequester and a government shutdown, the "broader public opinion" and "political dynamic" on the issues may be of less significance to Republicans.

 

"In their districts, what they are hearing is 'bring this president down,' 'take him on,' and 'cut the budget,' " Ornstein of the Republicans in Congress.
 

He said Republicans are also trying to avoid upsetting their local support base ahead of next year's congressional elections and the 2016 presidential race. Republicans have a majority in the House of Representatives and are hoping to capture a majority in the Senate.

 

REPUBLICAN POLITICAL FUTURE

 

Ornstein said next year's congressional elections are coming at a time when the Republican Party is deeply divided. He said the dominant factions within the party are conservative.
 

"Missing from the debate and the dialogue, by and large, is what used to be a very significant force in the Republican Party -- moderate Republicans, centrist Republicans," said Ornstein.
 

"There are none of them in the House of Representatives anymore," he said, and "one or two" in the Senate. "By and large, they are not a force at all."

 

OBAMA'S SHIFTING STANCE

 

Meanwhile, Ornstein said he has seen a shift in President Obama's negotiating strategy with Republicans since he first took office in 2009.
 

He said Obama's first term strategy centered on "transcending" partisanship by offering compromises. "The other side saw it as a sign of weakness," said Ornstein.
 

He said Obama is now emulating the negotiating style of former President Ronald Reagan, who was a Republican.
 

"What Reagan did so well and so famously was he would take a position and say over and over again, 'This is it. I am not moving. This is where I am going to be,' " said Ornstein.
 

He said after Reagan's opponents offered a series of concessions, the president would say, "Now let's negotiate." As a result, Ornstein said Reagan would end up getting "three-fourths" of what he originally wanted.
 

Ornstein said Republicans are not happy that President Obama has adopted this strategy. They are complaining, he said, that Obama is taking on a "weakened Republican Party and making it much harder for them."

 

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE

 

Ornstein also said one reason why the Democratic and Republican parties are finding it difficult to compromise is because they have set up "exaggerated images" of each other.
 

He said the parties are "demonizing" each other's positions on issues, which makes it much harder to reach compromises on issues such as the federal budget or economic policy.
 

On a more optimistic note, Ornstein said if lawmakers can get past their initial confrontations on fiscal issues, the nation would not be that far from stabilizing its debt.
 

He said 2013 could turn out to be a "remarkably productive year," which would be unusual for a second term president.

 

You May Like

Photogallery Ukraine: Russian Forces Tightening Grip on East

And new United Nations report documents human rights abuses committed by both sides in conflict More

Locust Swarms Fill Antananarivo Skies

FAO-led control efforts halted plague More

South Africa’s Plan to Move Rhinos May Not Stop Poaching

Experts say international coordination needed to follow the money trail and bring down rhino horn kingpins More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: dwight from: dc
March 13, 2013 7:50 PM
Brandt:

your post is nonsense. you should mention how the fringe element within the democratic party has pushed them all to the left, and how that's causing "gridlock".

Talking about "middle class relief", republicans are against tax hikes. isn't that middle class relief? it's the dems that want to wage class warfare by tying "middle class relief" to tax hikes and other liberal agenda.


by: Brandt Hardin
March 13, 2013 4:36 PM
Will we ever see bipartisan politics in our country again? The fringe element within the Republican Party has pushed them all to the far right of the isle where they’ve gridlocked our government for two years now. Will the next two be any different? They’ve been very public about their main goal being to block and bamboozle the President’s every move when the Middle Class NEEDS relief. It takes many hands to paint the Blackface on Obama.


by: dwight from: dc
March 13, 2013 8:20 AM
it would be nice if this story mentioned how pro-liberal media (including voa) strengthens obama's case.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid