This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Obama's New Year's Resolution: Don't Be a Wuss

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Could Barack Obama pull off a Harry Truman?

That's the implication of the murmurings emanating from Washington, as reported by the New York Times on Sunday, that Obama will be running against Congress in the 2012 campaign, very much the way Truman rode the "do-nothing Congress" to victory in 1948.

This is, of course, a pretty obvious path for Obama, and that raises the question: Will it work?

I think the answer is pretty close to yes. But I would add a condition. Yes, it will work, but only if Obama shows more gumption in dealing with today's do-nothing Congress than he has in the past. And I suggest that this will happen only if Obama abandons his failed strategy of reconciliation with Congress. He should make recess appointments to fill vacancies wherever they may exist -- principally at the Consumer Financial Protection Board and the National Labor Relations Board, where Republican obstructionism has hampered the operation of those two agencies.

Obama really has nothing to lose. Certainly not the goodwill of Congressional Republicans, who haven't shown any themselves. By doing this, he'd not only do some tangible good for the people who'd elect him, but he'd show the American people that he has the intestinal fortitude to be elected for a second term. These are fights that he can win, and there's nothing the public loves more than a winner. It would be Obama's New Year's resolution: Play hardball.

There's plenty of precedent for a recess-appointment binge. Here's a Congressional Research Service study fresh off the presses that describes the ins and outs of recess appointments. Note a short adjournment does not count as a recess.

For that reason, Republicans in the Senate saw to it that there would be 10 pro forma sessions between the recess on Dec. 17 and Jan. 23, when the Senate resumes its regular schedule. But as lawyer and commentator Victor Williams points out in the National Law Journal, those sham sessions don't impede the president's ability to make recess appointments. The partisanship of the Republican minority in the Senate has been shameless.

Thanks to Republican opposition to a cloture motion, the Senate in December failed to confirm a highly qualified nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Caitlin Halligan. The failure of the cloture vote was described by Caroline Fredrickson, president of the American Constitution Society, as "unprecedented obstructionism."
1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $94.02 0.00%
FB $104.07 0.00%
GOOG $683.57 0.00%
TSLA $162.60 0.00%
YHOO $27.97 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 16,204.97 -211.61 -1.29%
S&P 500 1,880.05 -35.40 -1.85%
NASDAQ 4,363.1440 -146.4150 -3.25%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs