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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Does Obama have more leverage now than before the election?

Yes, Obama Won a Mandate

The stakes in this fight are large: Depending on the terms, they will define the scope of the federal government for at least a generation to come. And, unlike in recent fiscal debates, Obama should have leverage—more, perhaps, than at any time since the earliest days of his presidency. He can hold out in the debate over the sequester and Bush tax cuts, because the default action—doing nothing—is far worse for Republicans than it is for him. And with the newly elected Tammy Baldwin and Elizabeth Warren joining the reelected Sherrod Brown and Sheldon Whitehouse in the Senate, Obama should have a more unified and incrementally more liberal congressional party behind him. (Hopefully they will push Obama, even as they get his back.)
Simon Owens is an assistant managing editor at U.S. News & World Report. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Email him at sowens@usnews.com