Alpe d'Huez wrote:John Boehner has stated that the Repubs in the House won't raise taxes 1 dollar, no matter what. So, we're right back where we started.
Eight years ago at this time Bush stated that the American people had given him a mandate. With that he was able to use a lot of political insider maneuvering, and key speeches to get a lot of conservative legislation through a fairly divided Congress. Sixteen years ago Clinton did similar, but made great use of the bully pulpit to connect with people and pressure Congress.
So far we have never seen Obama rise to that level, but if he ever had it in him to step up and do so, now is the time, for the next six months will mean everything to his presidency, and legacy.
We'll see what the legislative agenda will look like in a couple of weeks, how everything pans out, and what the perceived "mandate" is. I'd guess/hope something like this, also based on the fact that there seems to be bipartisan agreement that these are critical issues and there is something for both parties to gain:
1) Avert fiscal cliff and negotiate dispose of the sequester i.e. budget
2) comprehensive immigration reform, given that a +3% Latinos voted in favor (w/ Sen. Rubio who needs to position himself for 2016)
3) comprehensive tax reform (corporate taxes; closing loopholes; limiting deductions; changing carried interest; capital gains/limit/remove energy subsidies for oil/gas/coal)
4) investments in science, technology, and education
5) contain healthcare costs; ability to renegotiate drug prices
(aside from managing business overseas whether in the field of security or trade including Syria, Iran, China, Russia; i.e. legislation is still pending re normalizing trade relations with Russia)
More in the hopeful category:
6) perhaps under the leadership of Warren, take another look at Dodd-Frank and make improvements; Just read something that big banks and mid-size banks have a bit of a fall out and pursue different interests.
7) Seize on the change in perception regarding climate change
8) During his speech, he mentioned "the long lines of voters" and that something should be done about it. Perhaps that means he is interested in pursuing electoral reform, but I'd guess that would not be comprehensive, but more piecemeal...Take the politics out of voting.