THE REPUBLAGEDDON of 2014 Puts Tiny Dent In Presidential Ego, Nukes Fragile Ties Between Obama and Senate DemocratsPosted: November 6, 2014
“Tension blew up Tuesday when Krone’s comments about Democrats’ dismal showing in the 2014 midterms went public. He accused Obama of paying “lip service” to concerns about helping finance the midterm elections and said the president was an anchor that took down Democrats across the country, costing them the Senate majority.”
The Fix’s Chris Cillizza writes: Less than two months after their most joyous moment together, the relationship between the Obama White House and Senate Democrats went off track and has never recovered.
“The president’s approval rating is barely 40 percent. What else more is there to say?”
— Reid’s chief of staff, David Krone
“It was an unusual breach of Washington decorum that stunned a political community used to the shadowy ‘background’ comments from ‘senior administration officials’ or ‘senior Senate aides.’ In general, staffers do not say such things on the record about a sitting president, especially from the same party.”
Instead of basking in the victory glow of President Obama’s impressive 2012 reelection and an improbable two-seat gain for Democrats, they found themselves at the edge of the now infamous “fiscal cliff.”
“Krone’s move wasn’t some rogue operation of a staffer gone wild. He is a close and loyal aide to Reid, having met him years ago when he — Krone — was a telecommunications lobbyist and executive.”
Washington was consumed by negotiations over a huge stockpile of expiring tax cuts and automatic spending cuts that were set to kick in at the end of the year. The two months between Election Day and New Year’s Eve were a period of intense, partisan negotiations.
Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) had pulled back from the talks, leaving the White House, in the person of Vice President Biden, to cut a deal with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
The final vote on the package seemed like a bipartisan triumph: 89 senators supported the deal, which included the permanent extension of the Bush-era tax breaks for most workers. But the vote masked a vast underlying tension among some of the players.
The episode left a particularly bitter taste for Reid’s chief of staff, David Krone, who had been privately assuring people that there would be no deal and that Congress would go “over the cliff” — as taxes soared for every American, giving the Democrats great political leverage when Congress returned for a period of more intense negotiations in January 2013.
Technically, the president’s first term wasn’t even complete, and he had just been reelected, but the fault lines within his own party were already sharply drawn. That tension blew up… (read more)
- Harry Reid’s Chief of Staff Unleashes on Obama Over Midterm Losses: ‘We Were Never Going to Get on the Same Page’ (theblaze.com)
- After Blowout, Obama To Answer Questions (teaparty.org)
- No Matter Who Wins the 2014 Midterm Elections, Obama Loses (reason.com)
- Is Harry Reid’s long Senate reign over? He doesn’t think so (theguardian.com)
- The Insiders: Will the White House learn any lessons from Campaign 2014? (washingtonpost.com)
- Republicans widen control in Senate, governor’s races (star-telegram.com)