The transformed presidency of Barack Obama will soon be tested over the “debt ceiling.”
With republicans demanding “trillions” in budget cuts, here’s the president’s chance to use his enhanced stature to pummel his opponents in upcoming talks to increase the nation’s borrowing limit and avoid default.
I’ve been flying high the past couple of weeks, watching Mr. Obama take control: marginalizing the birthers, ripping apart Trump at the correspondent’s dinner, taking out bin Laden and then showing viewers of “60 Minutes” how a thoughtful, talented and courageous president conducts himself (the CBS interview out-rated Amazing Race and Desperate Housewives Sunday night).
This is not style over substance.
President Obama is growing in the job.
Most progressive democrats are rooting for him. Despite our disappointments, we recognize that his success is our success.
Now we want to see the president start to flip the narrative. Negotiate like a pro, from a position of strength. Not let republicans use the debt ceiling issue to decapitate government.
We know Obama is more conciliator than combatant. And that the white house will compromise.
The question is how the president parlays his restored rapport with mainstream America to hold the safety net, safeguard workers and consumers and protect the environment. And - in the process - isolate and define his opponents as out-of-touch extremists.