Obama says post-election agenda hinges on having allies

WASHINGTON Tue Nov 2, 2010 1:36pm EDT

1 of 2. President Barack Obama returns to the White House from a weekend of campaigning for the mid-term elections in Washington, October 31, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed

Related Topics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said the fate of his policy agenda would depend on having allies in Congress as he pressed supporters to turn out and vote in a bid to minimize his Democrats' losses in Tuesday's congressional elections.

"Everybody who is listening: Just remember, the future is yours to shape. But if you don't get involved, somebody is going to shape it for you ... one of the best ways to do that is to vote today," Obama said in an interview on Los Angeles radio station KPWR.

With the midterm elections shaping up as a referendum on his first two years, Obama insisted his administration had accomplished a lot after taking office in the midst of the worst financial crisis in decades.

He cited a return to economic growth -- albeit slow and halting -- plus a sweeping healthcare overhaul and a U.S. troop drawdown in Iraq among his achievements.

Obama acknowledged that job growth is slower than it needs to be but said he would keep the focus on reducing unemployment as well as improving education.

"Across the board, things have gotten better over the last two years. We can only keep it up if I've got some friends and allies in Congress and statehouses," Obama, speaking from the Oval Office, said on the youth-oriented radio station's whose slogan is "Where hip hop lives."

Despite that, deep voter anxiety over a stumbling economic recovery and persistently high unemployment are widely expected to translate into heavy Democratic losses, including Republican seizure of the House of Representatives.

Loss of the House could put the brakes on Obama's legislative agenda, unless he can find a way to work with Republicans.

Obama was battling an "enthusiasm gap," with polls showing Republicans more likely than Democrats to vote on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Matt Spetalnick, Editing by Sandra Maler)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (24)
Trooth wrote:
Obama thinks that the majority of America is his enemies, no surprise here. He has expressed his distaste for America in many round about ways. He just cost himself a re-election with that comment. The middle of America and the moderate Democrats will not appreciate being called enemies. The far left progressive Democrats are a minority in the Democrat party, albeit a very loud minority.

I look forwarded to the fall of the progressives as much as I look forward to the fall of the religious right in politics.

Nov 01, 2010 11:46pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
amerigo wrote:
No BigBear, he’s is not a mole, he speaks from the heart. He has nothing to appologise for, give the man a bull horn and lets hear him shout that the Hispanics “should punish their enemies”, from the White House Portico. I want to hear what he really thinks, I want to hear more from Van Jones and the rest, hell give them all the time on the air and send me the bill. Let Obama and his supporters speak out loud and clear how GB was the 911 mastermind, how Mao Zedong is thier inspiration and Rev. Wright is their mentor.

Now lets go make an informed vote.

Nov 02, 2010 1:21am EDT  --  Report as abuse
AKH wrote:
Isn’t it stated somewhere (Bible) to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous? Since our President has made me his enemy, I choose love and not hate, to pray and not curse him. I know this is upside down to most, but it brings life back to our nation.

Nov 02, 2010 2:52am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.