Political insiders in the White House are reportedly wringing their hands with only three months into the new Republican-controlled Congress after a number of key battles which President Obama has won.
Far from taking control of the agenda and forcing Obama on his heels, Republican leaders in Congress have been busy fighting skirmishes within their own caucuses, unable to lead a unified front against the White House.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest summarized the president’s advantage:
“To the extent that Republicans on Capitol Hill are doing things, it is either putting out fires in their own camp or responding to incoming from President Obama. Most of the message of the Republican presidential candidates is a message that is a reaction or response to White House initiatives, or actions taken by the White House.”
This reality has commentators claiming that the president has more control over the agenda now than he did before the midterm elections. Whether on the Keystone pipeline, the DHS budget or immigration, they say, Republicans have continually shot themselves in the political foot.