The Oklahoman: Obama Aide Looks at First Year

Jan 20, 2010
In The News

WASHINGTON — Facing what is already a challenging political year for Democrats, White House senior adviser David Axelrod struck a populist tone Tuesday, saying that voters would ultimately side with the party that stands up to powerful interests.

"Ultimately, I think at the end of the day, the party that’s fighting for the middle class, the party that’s fighting for economic progress that will work for most Americans and not just a few Americans, the party that stands up against powerful interests and not stands with them to protect the status quo, is ultimately the party that’s going to prevail,” Axelrod told reporters.

"And I think that’s the message that will work in every part of this country.”

Axelrod’s comments came at the end of President Barack Obama’s first year in office, a year he described as eventful, productive and challenging.

Axelrod essentially blamed Republicans for the partisan divide in Washington that has forced Democrats to use every bit of leverage their majorities in the House and Senate give them to pass Obama’s agenda.

Axelrod said he was disappointed in early 2009 when nearly all Republicans voted against the $787 billion stimulus bill.

It was everyone’s responsibility, he said, to deal with an economy that was shedding hundreds of thousands of jobs each month.

"And it turned out that we had to deal with it without much help from the other party and that was unfortunate and that, I think, helped set a tone for the year,” he said.

Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Cheyenne, said Tuesday, "President Obama has been unable to pass a single one of his priority pieces of legislation into law. He has continued to push a legislative agenda that the majority of Americans do not agree with, including government takeover of our health care system and a massive new energy tax on American businesses.

"This country has seen record spending by our federal government and our national debt rise by $1.4 trillion. … It seems the only thing President Obama has actually been able to deliver is spend and borrow.”

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