Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Obama, Reid and the first compromise

The Joe Lieberman soap opera is finally over — replaced on Tuesday by a new two-man show starring Barack Obama and Harry Reid.
In the first episode — “What to Do About Joe” — a Senate majority leader who’s worked hard to win over the left-wing blogosphere and a president-elect who’s become everything to everyone are forced to make the pivot from campaign rhetoric to something close to governing.
The climax: Reid swallows his tough talk to keep Lieberman — and his vote — in the Democrats’ camp.
The epilogue: Daily Kos’ disgusted Markos Moulitsas declares, “I’m done with Reid as Senate leader.”
Senate Democrats’ decision to punish Lieberman for his campaign-trail transgressions with a slap on the wrist — he loses his spot on the Environment and Public Works Committee but keeps his chairmanship of Homeland Security and Government Affairs — may represent a productive start to the relationship between Reid and Obama.
But it underscores the challenges Reid and Obama face as they move from “If I were in charge” to “I am in charge.” They can’t please everyone who helped put them in power.

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