Historical Lessons for a President Forced to Deal With a Hostile Congress

tags: Obama, 2014 election

Michael Beschloss, a presidential historian, is the author of nine books and a contributor to NBC News and “PBS NewsHour.” Follow him on Twitter at @BeschlossDC.

So what does President Obama do now? Modern presidential history suggests at least three plans of action for a president faced with an opposition House and Senate.

1. When the Republicans took Congress in 1994, for the first time in almost a half century, Bill Clinton, facing re-election, searched for ways to cooperate with Republicans on domestic policy, such as an overhaul of welfare and the quest for a balanced budget. Such a strategy may be harder for President Obama, because the next Congress will feature more conservative firebrands than did Bob Dole’s Senate and Newt Gingrich’s House of Representatives...

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