April 28th, 2009
09:01 AM ET
13 years ago

Analysis: Obama can't expect rubber stamp from Democrats

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/04/28/crowley.obama.democrats/art.obama.cnn.jpg caption="President Obama should expect more dissention from Democratic lawmakers, says CNN's Candy Crowley."]
(CNN) - As President Obama approaches the 100-day mark, he can look back on a short legislative history with near-unanimous support from fellow Democrats.

Mathematically, he is sitting pretty with overwhelming majorities in the Senate and House. But in politics, things don't always add up.

Two incidents in early January may hold big hints about the post-honeymoon period (when it happens) for the president. In early January, more than two weeks before the Obama inauguration, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid told the Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill, "I do not work for Barack Obama, I work with him."

Reid also let it be known early on that unlike former Vice President Dick Cheney, Vice President Joe Biden would not be allowed to attend Senate Democratic policy lunches. Two days before the inauguration, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she wanted immediate repeal of Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and an investigation into whether the Bush Justice Department illegally fired federal prosecutors.

Obama had already said he wanted to move forward rather than look back and signaled he would not repeal Bush tax cuts on the wealthy but rather let them expire in 2010.

So far, Pelosi has lost on both counts. And she and Reid have been formidable activists for the White House agenda. Still, there is a clear political message: no rubber stamps.

It is also a message about the Constitution and the co-equal branches of government.

Full story

Filed under: Congress • Democrats • Obama administration • President Obama
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Mark

    I hope practical democrats reject many of his policies. The media is already giving him the rubber stamp of approval.

    April 28, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  2. DeborahKansas City

    No one ever gets everything they want, except when the Republican'ts are in office, then everything is rubberstamped, right into the ground, by any means necessary, remember Richard Nixon, George Bush and Dick Cheney? This is the way a democracy works. Each State elects people to represent their particular interests, the President represents all the people and the Supreme Court makes sure they follow the constitution, well except when republi-cons are in power.

    April 28, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  3. LIP

    No rubber stamp? Oh come on, Nancy "Rubber stamp" Pelosi is front and center for Obama when she isn't busy denying her knowledge of so called torture techniques after the CIA briefed her and every senior Democrat and Republican on the intelligence committee, years ago. Nancy spent 10 full minutes after one of her recent press conferences, trying to deny knowledge of the briefing and the reporters, avoiding asking questions relative to her talk, continued to press her for answers and Nancy finally walked out on them. Now she would have us believe that she is bipartisan...what a hoot.

    April 28, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  4. Jenn, Philadelphia

    The Administration shouldn't expect the Democrats to rubber stamp everything, but the Republicans can't say anything. I think many of the people posting here don't actually understand the concept of democracy. It isn't just "majority-rule". It does involve "minority-opposition" as well.

    April 28, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  5. Really

    Really??? Whatever. Usually 4 years goes by really fast. These next four will drag on as we have to listen to the media kiss the Obamas behind daily.

    April 28, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  6. I would hope not

    but with the party of no on the other side, I would hope they would be more open to his ideas

    April 28, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  7. Jimmy

    Man oh man, look at this circus show, and from an independent view can some of you Republicans honestly start making atleast SOME sense, maybe even a fact or two? instead of the constant childish complaint about taxes and being less secure despite having no knowledge what that means...interesting, supported the war, supported Bush, now they dont want taxes under Obama to pay for Bush and his adventures at a time of economic crisis and wars on two fronts if not more....top it off with top notch security for the safety of the country and a growing problem seen as the consequence of deregulation......all I can think of saying to that without being too offensive is, grow up!! Its no coincidence these are all things Republicans are all about, get over it, it was a disaster, we are paying for it. what else is new, what is unfortunate is those out there that knew better. Oh well. We pay too. Thanks a bunch.

    April 28, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  8. Dilligaf

    This is so LOLF! OF COURSE he'll sign anything Queen Nancy and Stoopid Reid puts in front of him because he is clueless, and has no ideas of his own! He proved that by dredging up so many of the fricking old Clintonistas to help punish this once great country!

    April 28, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  9. mom for "real' change

    Why am I not surprised. We're just at 100 days and already I'm sick of them all!!!!

    April 28, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  10. Obamalism

    No rubber stamps? Really? You cherry picked about the ONLY two instances where the three haven't been in lock step.

    What a joke!!!

    CNN – how about a story on the misleading numbers on US arms smuggled into Mexico or the numbers of time terrorist were waterboarded?

    How about a story on Dem senators pushing for the 'fairness' doctrine for radio AND NOW THE INTERNET???

    A story on how the Feds FORCED banks to accept TARP funds and are now refusing to accept repayment? (and you all thought Bush was power hungry!)

    A story on how much cap n trade is going to cost all tax payers? Or maybe a story on how the dems REFUSE to hear opposing testimony to Al Gore's lies on global warming???

    Nah, didn't think so.... Have fun losing millions airing Obama's monthly cheerleading rally.

    April 28, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  11. Chenna Benna

    I think for the most part the Obama administration doesn't want a rubberstamp Congress. That is what the Republicans gave Bush for six out of eight year. It's also why we are in the situation we are in now. Obama put together a team of rivals because he likes to be challenged and be told other wise, unlike our last president.

    April 28, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  12. RR

    When one party controls both the white house and congress, there are no checks and balances. We have seen this repeatedly.

    Obama will NOT stand up to Pelosi and Reid.

    Saying the dems will not rubberstamp all of Obama's policies is deceptive. They WILL dictate to Obama, and he will go along. Name ONE thing the dems will NOT rubberstamp, just one!

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    April 28, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  13. Jeff of Peoria

    They're already RUBBER STAMPS. What are they talking about?? That's funny as all get out. Between the 2 of them and they a 25% approval rating and Obama is like 65%. Do you think for a second that they're going to cross him. They might as well get used to those strings attached to their arms and legs.

    RUBBER STAMPS? – They're puppets.


    April 28, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  14. Mississippi Mike

    He doesn't expect it to be rubber stamped. He wants them to use a gold stamp with ink from the finest dyes on 100% recycled paper made from the papers he shreds to hide his radical socialist plans.

    April 28, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
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