Could President Obama, in his tax compromise with Republicans, be borrowing a page from the book of Bill Clinton, who had some triumphs working with the GOP in Congress during his presidency?
Suspicions that Obama is headed toward a "triangulation
" strategy grew Friday with word that the 42nd president is due at the White House for a meeting with the 44th. The term triangulation is attributed to onetime Clinton aide Dick Morris, who counseled working with the GOP after the 1994 Republican Revolution swept the GOP into power in the House and Senate after Clinton's rocky first two years in office. Clinton subsequently had his ups and downs with the opposition party -- remember the Christmas season impeachment? -- but also had some successes, albeit often with modest, tidy programs.
As with the current tax deal, in the 1990s congressional Democrats complained they were often the third leg on the stool when Clinton made his deals with majority Republicans.
The White House denies that anything similar is going on as Republicans march toward a new majority in the House next year.
"Triangulation as I understand it is an intentional political strategy to win favor with swing voters by pushing off the left. That's not what the president is doing and that's not our strategy," White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer told Politico
. "We want to convince all Democrats to support this [tax] deal, because we think it is good for the economy and good for the middle and working class."
No details are available on the Obama-Clinton agenda Friday. Morris, by the way, is now an author, Fox News commentator and arch-critic of the Obama administration.
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