White House officials, however, counter that Mr. Obama’s detachment from Congress could end up benefiting him politically. After all, many Americans regard this Congress as dysfunctional, with abysmal approval ratings.
“We have a culture here where people actively dislike everything about this whole city,” one senior administration official said of Washington, adding, “the only leverage he has right now is as an outsider.” Another official argued that Mr. Obama’s perceived distance from Congress is partly why he is viewed as the clear winner of the payroll tax cut fight.
In fact, Mr. Obama’s re-election strategy involves running against Congress, particularly the Republican-led House, calling attention to its inability to pass even the simplest legislation without resorting to threats to shut down the government or default on the country’s debt.
Remind me again -- who runs the Senate?