It wasn’t supposed to be like this for the White House and a re-elected president with political capital to spend.
But President Barack Obama is in a position of supplication to Hill Republicans, talking loudly and often about the harm of automatic budget cuts but lacking the leverage to get the GOP to buckle.
Senior administration officials had for months predicted that Republicans would cave on the sequester and agree to more taxes, even after agreeing to $600 billion in tax increases in the New Year’s Eve fiscal-cliff deal.
After all, aides noted, Republicans had caved again and again: on the 2012 payroll tax cut, on tax rate increases for the wealthy and on a debt ceiling extension.
Why not one more GOP rollover? Polls seemed solidly in the president’s favor.
But so far it’s not working out as the West Wing planned. Full story