Doing Big Things: Obama and the 111th Congress

Doing Big Things: Obama and the 111th Congress

Doing big things: Obama and the 111th congress

In november 2008, Barack Obama was elected president, the first non-incumbent elected with a majority of the popular vote since 1988. He won by a substantial margin after a campaign promising big changes in policy and in how politics was practiced in Washington. Congressional Democrats won large majorities in both chambers.

These election results raised Obama's supporters’ expectations to dizzying heights. Did Obama and the Democrats deliver legislatively? Why was it so hard? What was the public's verdict and how was it related to legislative performance?

The key determinants of a president's legislative success, I argue, are the context in which the president acts and the resources the president commands as a ...

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