January 26th, 2009
05:50 PM ET
11 months ago

Borger: Obama, GOP on their first date

President Barack Obama has pledged to work with Republicans on his economic stimulus package.
President Barack Obama has pledged to work with Republicans on his economic stimulus package.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - If there was one message that resonated loud and clear from the Obama campaign, it was this: Let's get past all of the partisanship and work together to get something done.

Turns out, President Barack Obama actually meant it. He's been meeting with congressional Republicans (and will trek to the Hill again Tuesday).

He's been listening to their ideas, incorporating some tax-cut ideas. And, yes, he's also been turning some down. After all, as he told Republicans last week, he was the one who won the election.

So what we're watching now as the stimulus package takes shape is the legislative equivalent of the first date: Republicans meeting with the new president, sizing him up. Obama deciding whether the GOP is serious about working with him.

"He [Obama] came to a conclusion early on in his political career that partisan polarization is a large part of the problem," says a senior Obama adviser. "Both in reality and in the minds of the American people."

Ah, but it's never that simple.

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Filed under: GOP • President Obama
soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. Jen

    Borger: YOU have NO qualifications to talk about ANYTHING substantial. YOU were/are the WORST commentator in a free society!

    January 26, 2009 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  2. Texas Teacher

    I just read that McCain does not agree with Obama... and he is making it known... all I can say, is PLEASE Sen. McCain... just go away! You lost.... get out of the way and let the Winner do his changes.... you voted with the Bush Administration over 90% of the time... that means you are part of the PROBLEM... and therefore, cannot possibly have anything of note to say... sorry... if the truth hurts let it hurt!

    Please, Mr. President, forget these bozos... you do NOT need them... and it would only be aiding and abetting the enemy to worry anymore about what they think or want. You can only do so much with these lump heads who still think they are in the lead! They're NOT and the only way to get that through to them is to ignore them and do your thing... you don't NEED them!

    I have no patience with this Christian turn the other cheek business.. that is how you get your whole head chopped off! I have to bless them on their path and get back on mine, but I do not have to buddy up with them.... only watch my back so they don't stick it to me again! Now that is logic! :)

    January 26, 2009 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  3. Proud American

    Shows he a true leader and willing to swim with scum to get the job done. Thanks Mr. President for effort.

    January 26, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  4. RMGofCO

    Yasmine ~ perfect analogy!

    January 26, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  5. Rob

    Remember BB, no tongue on the first date !

    January 26, 2009 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  6. No Incumbents 2010

    Was there kissing involved?

    January 26, 2009 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  7. David Newport, OR

    You know how politics works? You listen to your opponents. You give them a chance to speak out. You respect their opinion. Then you do what is right for the country and convince a couple of that side to join you because it is what is best for their constituents. We do need some tax cuts. Nothing wrong there. Just cut them for the right people and not the rich babies who got us in this mess.

    January 26, 2009 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  8. Don't

    some of these comments
    simply validates the ignorance
    of the ticker content.
    BO is simply 'playing the' GOP and personifying what will later be blamed for the collapse of his programs.

    January 26, 2009 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  9. Pat, CA

    yasmine January 26th, 2009 8:46 pm ET
    when your home is in completely eroded and disrepair..
    ---------
    Then YOU, yasmine, fix it - NOT the rest of the American peope. Surprise, surprise!

    January 26, 2009 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  10. Virginia Republican

    @Nothing ever Changes:

    I agree that we hope they don't get past second base-how about first base. Let's hope the date ends early and they never go out again!

    Bipartisanship will be impossible because Obama, et al stands for exactly opposite of what the Republicans stand for and I hope the Repubs don't give in. We can't afford to have anyone being wishy-washy anymore.

    January 26, 2009 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  11. Death of America by Obama

    He may listen because he wants to put forth a good face this early in the game but he'll do what he wants to and to hell with the republicians.
    This idiot is going to get us all killed.

    January 26, 2009 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  12. Kathy Kneer

    It ahsn't even been a week and now the President is caving to Republican leaders on something as commonsense as contraception. Removing contraceptive, breast and cervical cancer screening for low income working women who have no health insurance deprives them of the most basic of helath care they need. Access to contracpetion is a good investment for women as it prevents unintended pregnancy, keeps women on the job, and provdes breast and cervical cancer screening. The Congressional Budget Office has scored savings in excess of 400 million over 10 years. Now that makes "Cents".

    January 26, 2009 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  13. Scott Veteran

    Virginia Republican.

    We are in a time of crisis unseen since the fall of 1929. If we hit above 10.2% unemployment, the great depression will pale in comparison to our next couple of decades.

    During such times of crisis, we need to overcome partisanship and discern middle ground and build agreements upon which all of America can live with and use as the basis to building future prosperity.

    That is what was demanded of democrats during the events of 9/11, and the Democrats agreed, for the most part. Speaking as a Republican, I know it is time for us to work with, not against, the majority, in order to preserve a sustainable future for the whole of our country.

    If we continue to consider the needs of our party to be superior to the welfare of the nation, then we have no right to be in the political process and our nation will only suffer for our efforts. Our only possible future is a post partisan one grounded in reality and made with hard compromises and tough, often painful, decisions for all parties involved. It will be a long time before "business as usual" is usual again.

    January 26, 2009 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  14. RaeofSun

    Obama's obviously not stupid. Both side are going to have good input (and bad.) Let's take some of the other and say how good we are.

    January 26, 2009 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  15. OFL

    I think people are being misinformed. Europe IS NOT doing the same thing. In France and Germany people are being given money to buy new cars, but only if they buy new cars. France is cutting employment related taxes for small companies (less than 10 people) for the entire year! Both Germany and France are cutting taxes by LOWERING RATES and not by giving one off checks to contributors. France is arranging financial backing for planes sold by Airbus, being the bank of last resort to PRIVATE buyers. Of course they are also investing in infrastructure such as railroads and energy but unlike the US, the companies are owned by the state so it works well for the government to invest in them as it directly generates employment. In the US we need to find a way for the private sector to keep their employees and invest in R&D (NASA is calling... Los Alamos is calling... Lawrence Livermore is calling...). This is what the GOP is trying to accomplish. But president Obama, in bipartisanship fashion said "I won"...

    January 26, 2009 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
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