Obama Must Win Over House Republicans Before Ron Fournier Anoints Him A Leader

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Leadership arbiter Ron Fournier still isn’t all that impressed with President Obama.

The Senate moved forward on a three-month extension of unemployment benefits on Tuesday after some aggressive lobbying from Obama that included personal phone calls to Republican lawmakers, a gesture that would figure to impress pundits like Fournier.

So Bloomberg Businessweek’s Joshua Green cheekily wondered on Twitter if it was an auspicious time for Fournier, who’s carved out a niche imploring Obama to “lead,” to give the President his due.

But Fournier doesn’t dole out leadership points that easily.

“Wait – did it pass the House?” Fournier responded to Green.

That will take some doing. Six Senate Republicans helped advance the legislation on Tuesday, but — as evidenced by recent history — the House GOP is a different animal. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said he’ll consider taking up an extension if there are sufficient offsets, an area that the Senate hasn’t even agreed on, but he acknowledged that the legislation isn’t the chief focus of his members.

Until then, Fournier will still be waiting for some presidential leadership.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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