In a high-profile speech on Tuesday dissecting Democrats’ losses in this month’s midterm elections, Charles Schumer, the No. 3 Senate Democrat, listed “a cascade of issues” botched by the White House, starting with Obama’s push for healthcare reforms soon after he took office in 2009.
Later on Tuesday, the White House took the unusual step of publicly pledging to veto a deal on tax breaks that Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid was trying to hammer out with Republicans in the House of Representatives.
“There is clearly a lot of unhappiness and a lot of mistrust that exists between the president and his congressional party,” said Ross Baker, political scientist at Rutgers University.
President Obama has done next to nothing to endear himself even to his own party. This family squabble could get a lot worse before it improves, if it ever gets better at all. Chuck Schumer is no shrinking violet, and if he thought it important to distance himself from the president almost two years before he is up for reelection, it’s likely that these two aren’t going to have a beer summit any time soon.
An open, protracted feud could play into Hillary’s hands, making it easier for her to put some space between her and Obama’s policies without seeming like a spiteful ex-employee.
Even if that’s all she really is.