WHAT WILL BE­COME OF THE OBAMA LEGACY?

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics - BY JENNIFER HARPER

The ever-rest­less news me­dia tracks pres­i­den­tial ac­tiv­i­ties — some­times as sport, some­times for po­lit­i­cal pur­poses — call­ing at­ten­tion to how many times Pres­i­dent Obama has gone to the golf course (180, or there­abouts) or how much he’s spent in tax­payer funds to fire up Air Force One for fundrais­ing or re­cre­ation. That’s around $44 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to a Ju­di­cial Watch tally.

Mean­while, the pres­i­dent has some 30 months left in of­fice, and the dreaded “L” word looms — “L” as in “legacy.” As his days in the White House dwin­dle down to the prover­bial pre­cious few, Mr. Obama’s legacy build­ing is likely to com­mence sooner rather than later. The hunt will be on for au­then­tic achieve­ments with quan­tifi­able gains. When an­a­lysts and pun­dits fin­ish squawk­ing about it all, the his­to­ri­ans will emerge to sort things out, a process that can take decades.

But alas, the press is busy chart­ing the White House tra­jec­tory in terms of fail­ures, not vic­to­ries.

“If Pres­i­dent Obama wants to change his legacy from mas­sive im­mi­gra­tion fail­ure to bi­par­ti­san im­mi­gra­tion re­form, his best bet is to work with Repub­li­cans to craft a mea­sure that ad­dresses the hu­man­i­tar­ian cri­sis, helps se­cure our south­ern bor­der — and puts us in a bet­ter place to pass the other re­forms we need,” says a New York Post ed­i­to­rial, which of­fers a lit­tle ad­vice.

“Back in 2008, the pres­i­dent’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, fa­mously said, ‘You never want a se­ri­ous cri­sis to go to waste.’ The bor­der now pre­sents Obama with such an op­por­tu­nity to move Amer­ica for­ward on im­mi­gra­tion. But it re­quires a pres­i­dent will­ing to lead rather than play pol­i­tics.” of Barack Obama than Democrats were af­ter six years of Ge­orge W. Bush. While there’s a healthy in­tra­mu­ral bat­tle in­side the party dur­ing the midterm pri­maries, the midterm gen­eral elec­tion looks very pos­i­tive for the GOP, which will only strengthen enthusiasm for 2016. Repub­li­cans do be­lieve Pres­i­dent Obama has done tremen­dous dam­age to our coun­try, but there is fi­nally a light at the end of the tun­nel that we can see,” Repub­li­can strate­gist Matt Mack­owiak tells In­side the Belt­way. projections by Kan­tar Me­dia, which tracks such things. That’s a lot of fancy ad­ver­tis­ing and at­tack ads. But vic­tory may come down to some old-school re­li­ables like hand­shakes and baby kiss­ing. Like in New Hamp­shire, for ex­am­ple. The in­tense ri­valry be­tween Repub­li­can Scott Brown and in­cum­bent Demo­crat Sen. Jeanne Sha­heen could be de­cided at state fairs, town halls and down­home din­ers.

“More than any other state in the na­tion, per­sonal can­di­date in­ter­ac­tion has been and will be a de­cid­ing fac­tor in this U.S. Se­nate race. New Hamp­shire vot­ers want to know and like their elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives. As a re­sult, it feels like Sha­heen and Brown are every­where this sum­mer say­ing hello to ev­ery voter they can find,” Neil Levesque, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the New Hamp­shire In­sti­tute of Pol­i­tics, tells The Belt­way.

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