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Tanned, Rested, and Ready

John Boehner and the House Republicans plot their moves.

Nov 15, 2010, Vol. 16, No. 09 • By FRED BARNES
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Boehner may begin to appear more presidential than Obama. Since the president has alienated the business and entrepreneurial class, he’s unable to provide the sense of certainty about an economy free of tax increases and what Boehner calls “job-killing” legislation and regulations. But when Boehner vows there will be no energy tax, no card check, no cap and trade global warming bill, and a relentless effort to dismantle Obamacare, the new speaker will have credibility.

Soon Republicans will confront a problem that’s off their radar at the moment. Their drive to prevent tax hikes, pare spending, reduce the deficit, and block bureaucrats from issuing health care and financial industry regulations is bound to have a salutary effect on the economy. Obama will claim credit, and no doubt the media will go along.

The president is too ideologically rigid to take these steps himself. But that doesn’t matter. We’ve seen this movie before. In 1996, President Clinton twice vetoed a Republican welfare reform bill. Bob Dole, then the Republican presidential nominee, was poised to exploit the welfare issue against Clinton. But Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott insisted on giving Clinton a third crack at the bill. He signed it. And Dole’s presidential chances died.

Fred Barnes is executive editor of The Weekly Standard.

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