As we come close to the midterm elections next month, the Obama White House is rapidly changing personnel, with the departure of Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel (running to be Mayor of Chicago) being the most fundamental sign of change coming!
With much of the economic team leaving, and the expected departure next year of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and National Security Adviser James Jones, the President must figure out who he will call upon to replace many of his top team!
Obama must also decide what kind of relationship he will have with the Congress, particularly if the Republicans win control. But of course, a lot of it will have to do with how Republican leadership decides to treat him!
IF the Republicans decide to play “hardball” and issue subpoenas to investigate everything about the administration’s personnel and policies, then there will be partisan warfare and total stalemate and gridlock! 🙁
If the Republicans decide to promote repeal of administration policies, the President will fight, and has the ability to stop much of the negative actions with his veto!
If, on the other hand, the decision is to co-exist in many areas, then it is possible to have progress on the deficit, on social security reform, and on appropriate actions on terrorism!
If the Republicans become too obstructive, it could backfire on them, and lead to them losing control of either house of Congress in 2012, and help Obama win his re-election campaign, similar to Harry Truman in 1948 and Bill Clinton in 1996!
Of course, the level of success of the Tea Party Movement will have a major effect on the Republican party’s reaction to the administration over the next two years! So the potential takeover of the party by this right wing extremist movement could actually doom the party’s reputation and ability to succeed in power over the long run!
Whatever happens, the next two years will be very interesting and challenging, and will have a long range effect on the ability of the country to deal with its numerous domestic and foreign policy challenges!