How Obama Blew the Entire Last Year

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The new year brought more bad news for the president. Instead of going for immigration reform as his top legislative priority, he squandered much of his political capital on a doomed effort to enact gun restrictions. In March and April, House Republicans battered him on Benghazi. In May, he learned that the Internal Revenue Service had inappropriately monitored conservative groups, putting him on the defensive. At the same time, he came under fire for Justice Department investigations of journalists.

Add to that those House Republicans who think their mandate for obstruction trumps the president’s mandate. “In a sense, they don’t accept the results of the presidential election,” says Bill Schneider of the moderate Democratic group Third Way. “To them, it is still November 2010 and they are still operating on that mandate.” Given that GOP mind-set, Schneider says, it was “a bit naive” of Obama to think that his win would “break the fever.” Combine that naivete with bad luck, and there isn’t much doubt that the exhilaration of McCormick Place is just a distant memory.

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