President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are settling into a good-cop, bad-cop routine. Biden supplies empathy, negotiating skills, and comic relief. Obama is assertive, sometimes combative, clear about what he wants and when he wants it, and given to reminders that a) he won the election and b) polls show the public agrees with his agenda. …
“We can do more” to cultivate relationships, conceded senior White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer, and said that it would happen. “But this idea that if the president just played golf with the speaker more often or broke bread with [Senate Republican Leader Mitch] McConnell more often, all of our problems would be solved, is a relic of an entirely different era.”
The White House doesn’t have much incentive to rejigger because, surprise, polls, by and large, show that a majority of Americans like this unapologetic second-term Obama. Six in 10 people viewed him favorably in one recent poll.
Obama’s job-approval rating in Gallup’s tracking poll stood Thursday at 53 percent, better than his 49 percent average during his first term, when he took office amid the hopes of a nation making history, then crashed on the rocks of a recession and sometimes seemed hapless in the teeth of ceaseless Republican attacks and opposition.