Good episode on Charlie Rose the other night with David Axelrod. It was a friendly loose discussion on the nature of Obama, his first term and what transpired in the recent election. Axelrod noted how the Republicans have boxed themselves into a corner due to the current voter distribution in Congressional districts. Democratic candidates won over 50% of the statewide vote in North Carolina, but only gained 27% of the Congressional seats due to the way the state has been gerrymandered in recent years. He said not only is this bad for the House, but bad for moderate Republicans who don't stand a chance in the primaries against hard-line conservatives. This voting trend occurred all over the country.
Axelrod defended Obama's record. Rose raised some good points on Obama's ability to get his message across and whether he isolated himself from Republican Congressional leaders. Axelrod countered by saying that when the stated goal of Republican leaders was to make him a one-term president what good would more discussions have done? He said all discussions were adversarial with little attempt by the Republicans to compromise on key issues such as health care. When Obama did deliver on a deal that cut Medicare costs, the Republicans used it against him in the elections, even when their own response was far more Draconian.
He touched on Obama's willingness to "chain" CPI, but didn't elaborate on it. His point was that Obama has shown a willingness to compromise, to meet the Republicans half way, but that there has been little reciprocity. Does that mean the President will be bolder and tougher in his second term, Rose asked? Axelrod hedged on this one, apparently no longer in the inner circle of the White House, but suggested the President would continue to seek bipartisan solutions, as that is his nature.