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The Decline of Obama

How to lose friends and influence.

Apr 22, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 30 • By FRED BARNES
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This doesn’t leave much room for Obama’s involvement, at least in the Senate. On gun control, a gang of two senators—Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania—has put together the measure to expand background checks. 

The decline of the presidency isn’t Obama’s fault alone. The media once treated Washington as a White House-centric town. They did so during the entirety of Obama’s first term. Obama was an obsession. Congress was unexciting and got far less coverage.

But the press can be fickle, and its interest in Obama has dwindled. Now the media buzz in Washington is about who’s going to run for president in 2016 and who’s going to win. 

After Republicans captured Congress in 1994, President Clinton was asked if he was still relevant. He was. Presidents can always play defense, thanks to the veto, and focus on foreign policy, where they have considerable discretion. Obama is relevant. He’s just not the president he once was.

Fred Barnes is executive editor of The Weekly Standard.

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