THE REPUBLAGEDDON of 2014 Puts Tiny Dent In Presidential Ego, Nukes Fragile Ties Between Obama and Senate Democrats

Reid-podium-bumped

“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.”APPROVED-non-stop-panic

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

Reid-Krone-hallway

“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.”

120805_harry_reid

“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.

WSJ-election-night-Stamped

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.).

Obama-Reidx

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. Read the rest of this entry »