In Washington, D.C., President Obama has opened the window to the Oval Office, allowing the winds of political change to begin blowing through the White House. It seems that he understands the November election will prove to be a pivotal event in his presidency. Of course, every national election has its hype, but the upcoming midterm elections will likely determine the course of the nation for years to come.
If Democrats retain control of the House and the Senate, it will allow President Obama to continue pressing his agenda through Congress. Already, the nation has seen a government takeover of much of the American auto industry, housing industry, and healthcare. It seems as if Obama believes the government is the answer to all of the nation’s woes. But two years into his first term, the country continues to see high unemployment and a sluggish economy. The Democrats have had complete control over the legislative and executive branches of government for nearly two years, but yet they continue to blame George W. Bush for the recession. True, President Bush’s policies may have helped to start the recession, but Obama’s radical takeover of much of the private sector continues to plague the nation’s economy.
If Republicans win the House of Representatives but not the Senate, they will still be able to stifle the President’s agenda for the remainder of his first term. However, with control of only one chamber of Congress, the Republicans will fail to have much direct control over the national agenda. Nonetheless, they will be able to stop Obama’s left-leaning policies from sailing through the House of Representatives. More than that, they might be able to press Obama towards the center, realigning his agenda to a more moderate stance. Already, the president seems to be preparing for a changing of the guard in at least one house of Congress. According to an aide, he has spent “a lot of time talking of Obama 2.0.” Admitting that he has made mistakes, Obama seems to be preparing for a shift to the center if Republicans seize control of at least the House of Representatives.
There remains a remote chance that Democrats could lose both the House and the Senate. If it happens, a whole new Obama might emerge from the White House. The president will be forced to either change his agenda or become a lame duck for the next two years, even though Republicans are unlikely to have enough seats to override a presidential veto. This will require Republicans to compromise with the president, finding they must move from the right to the center.
In truth, if the Republicans snatch full control of Congress from the Democrats, it may serve to help Obama in the next presidential election. The new “Obama Version 2.0” might appear more centrist than his seemingly socialistic predecessor. Even though the White House is not ready to concede defeat next week, they seem prepared for a shift to center if it happens. Besides, if the next two years do not go well with the economy, the president might be able to claim that the Republican Congress stifled all his efforts to help the nation rebound from its slump.
Either way, the midterm elections will serve to shape the future of America in the immediate and far-off future.