The Corner

Chronicle of a Fizzle

I argued two weeks ago that “the White House has to be disappointed, whatever it says, by the way the second term has been going,” citing among other things the failure of Obama’s gun-control push and the public’s non-reaction to sequestration. Jonathan Chait wrote that I was judging Obama against an unrealistic standard. I denied this in the Corner.

Today Al Hunt, who I assume has excellent White House sources, writes in Bloomberg View:

The White House thought a comfortably re-elected president would have more clout, and face less-resistant Republicans, to strike a compromise on the deficit, avoid the mindless across- the-board sequestration cuts, pass a gun-control measure, and immigration overhaul and get Congress to embark on a broad, new agenda, including universal preschool education, a higher minimum wage, an ambitious infrastructure program and something on climate change.

With the exception of immigration, this agenda is going nowhere.

The White House has got to be even more disappointed than I thought.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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