The political fortunes of Senate Democrats and President Obama are moving in opposite directions, complicating their efforts to win a titanic battle against Republicans over federal spending.
What’s political hay for the president and White House, after all, isn’t necessarily good for his party’s majority in the Senate. That’s one reason Obama has left much of the work of dealing with Republicans on spending cuts to party leaders in the House and Senate.
“I imagine the president doesn’t want to really get his hands dirty with this until he can walk away with an agreement, which isn’t helping the leadership at the moment,” said one Democratic strategist. “Now, does that have something to do with 2012? Sure it does.”