From today's WSJ's Political Diary by John Fund:
Is President Obama already playing "triangulation" with the Democratic Congress? Some circumstantial evidence surfaced yesterday when Rep. Jim Cooper of Tennessee -- a prominent Blue Dog Democrat -- told a liberal radio network that the Obama White House quietly encouraged him to reject the stimulus package pushed through the House by Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In the end, every Republican opposed the measure along with 11 Democrats. Mr. Cooper was also one of 55 Democrats who wrote a letter to Ms. Pelosi criticizing her for suspending normal debate on the $819 billion package.
"Well, I probably shouldn't tell you this, but I actually got some quiet encouragement from the Obama folks for what I'm doing," Rep. Cooper told the Liberadio network. "They know it's a messy bill and they wanted a clean bill. Now, I got in terrible trouble with our [Democratic House] leadership because they don't care what's in the bill, they just want it passed and they want it to be unanimous. They don't mind the partisan fighting 'cause that's what they are used to. In fact, they're really good at it. And they're a little bit worried about what a post-partisan future might look like -- if members actually had to read the bills and figure out whether they are any good or not. We're just told how to vote. We're treated like mushrooms most of the time. . . ."
Well. If the definition of a political gaffe is when a politician accidentally tells the truth, Mr. Cooper committed a gaffe of mega-proportions. It's now clear that the Obama White House is worried that the Democratic Congress will repeat its previous mistakes during the early Clinton administration and lurch too far to the left. After the debacle of the 1994 mid-term election, President Clinton began a "triangulation" strategy in which he positioned himself ideologically between conservative Republicans and the liberal Democratic leadership in Congress. . . .
Labels: ObamaAdministration, triangulation