The Wall Street Journal came out with this report late yesterday afternoon that Obama Personally Lobbied Senators to Curb Filibuster:

President Barack Obama personally lobbied three Democratic senators who were unsure about a proposed ban on filibusters of presidential nominees, an 11th-hour effort earlier this week that reflected how much the White House expects to rely on executive actions to press its second-term agenda.

A Senate Democratic aide said Mr. Obama called senators who were on the fence and told them “how important this was to him and our ability to get anything done for the rest of the term.” The White House confirmed that Mr. Obama contacted senators but declined to say whom he called.

On Thursday, the Democratic-led Senate changed its rules so executive and most judicial nominees could be confirmed by a simple majority, rather than a 60-vote threshold needed to overcome threatened filibusters. White House officials now expect the Senate in December to confirm nominees for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, a top housing regulator, the Department of Homeland Security and the Environmental Protection Agency who had been blocked by Republicans.

The White House believes the rule change’s primary value is that it gives Mr. Obama more scope to operate through direct administrative action, by removing barriers in Congress that denied him a full roster of officials.

Professor Jacobson speculated as much, in a post entitled Naked Emperor.

It’s not for nothing that Obama nuked the filibuster rule.  Yes, Obama.  Harry Reid would not have done it except with marching orders.

Others have commented on the issue of leadership.

That said, it may also be interesting to note one of the highlighted points in a recent CBS News poll:

The President has also lost ground on personal qualities like leadership and honesty, and most Americans don’t think he shares their priorities for the country.

Read the full Wall Street Journal article here.


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