Saturday, October 08, 2011

Obama, the loner president

Obama, the loner president:

Beyond the economy, the wars and the polls, President Obama has a problem: people.

This president endures with little joy the small talk and back-slapping of retail politics, rarely spends more than a few minutes on a rope line, refuses to coddle even his biggest donors. His relationship with Democrats on Capitol Hill is frosty, to be generous. Personal lobbying on behalf of legislation? He prefers to leave that to Vice President Biden, an old-school political charmer.


But inside the Beltway, the legacy of his relationship, or lack thereof, with Democrats on the Hill remains a problem for his jobs plan — and, by extension, his political future.

A senior Democratic strategist told my colleague Chris Cillizza recently that “the person running out of air most quickly” is Obama himself, and there may not be many who come to his rescue.

“We’re about a year out from the elections, and the senators are turning to their own races,” the strategist said. “They don’t have a lot of energy or political capital to spare for the president at this point.”

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