President Obama has earned a reputation of not playing well with others. And while House Republicans have long been vocally frustrated – now even Senate Democrats are speaking out about their inability to work with President Obama.
In a recent New York Times article, several Senate Democrats – including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) – were interviewed about their relationship with President Obama.
“With Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, sitting a few feet away, Mr. Reid complained that Senate Republicans were spitefully blocking the confirmation of dozens of Mr. Obama’s nominees to serve as ambassadors. He expected that the president would back him up and urge Mr. McConnell to relent.
“Mr. Obama quickly dismissed the matter.
“‘You and Mitch work it out,’ Mr. Obama said coolly, cutting off any discussion.”
Ouch. That’s not a very nice way to treat your co-workers or fellow leaders. And Senator Reid agreed:
“After his return to the Capitol that afternoon, Mr. Reid told other senators and his staff members that he was astonished by how disengaged the president seemed.
“But the impression the president left with Mr. Reid was clear: Capitol Hill is not my problem.”
Other Democrats spoke out about the lack of communication and compromise coming from the White House:
“Asked to characterize his relationship with the president, Mr. Manchin, a centrist Democrat who has often been a bridge builder in the Senate, said: ‘It’s fairly nonexistent. There’s not much of a relationship.'”
Senator Angus King (I-ME) said:
“In order to work with people, you need to establish the relationship first before you ask for something, and I think one of the things the White House has not done well and the president has not done well is the simple idea of establishing relationships before there is a crisis.”
But this isn’t the first time President Obama has opted out of compromising friendship – this behavior has been going on for a while. The Wire broke down a timeline of President Obama’s inability to make friends, from the recent border crisis to complaints from foreign ambassadors. Often, the word “aloof” arises when lawmakers describe the President.
President Obama’s behavior has created a trickle-down affect, and his inability to compromise is echoed in the Senate chambers. House Republicans have passed dozens of bills that would put Americans back to work – many of them with bipartisan support. Yet they remain stuck in a stubborn Democratic controlled Senate. And now even his allies there are catching on to the fact that President Obama isn’t interested in helping anyone. In the words of hip-hop artist Drake, Obama is making “no new friends – no, no, new.”