In practical terms, “that means taking the argument on the road, taking the time, as he did before the fiscal-cliff deal, to explain the stakes… and to use real-world examples of how certain fights impact the middle class,” she added.
Yet there are risks to the approach as well. A Jan. 31 rally Obama held at the White House during which supporters cheered the president on as he scolded Republicans angered the GOP just as sensitive talks with senators were taking place. Republican senators warned it could cost the president votes, though in the end it appeared it did not…
Democratic strategist Jamal Simmons, however, made light of the idea that sharp, campaign-style rhetoric could by counter-productive.
“This ain’t nursery,” he said with a laugh. “The Republicans have been known to use fairly heated rhetoric themselves. When the Tea Party was out in front of the Capitol or turning up at Democrats’ town halls, the Republican Party was not upset by that level of political activity. That’s what you’re supposed to do.”
In terms of legislative realities, Simmons also noted that last week’s deal set a potentially useful precedent for Obama. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) jettisoned his usual insistence that he would only bring forth legislation that could win the approval of most of his own conference.