By The Hill Editors - 01/22/13 12:20 AM EST
President Obama made it clear in his inauguration speech Monday that he will be seeking a very broad agenda in his second term.
He mentioned gay rights, gun control, immigration and climate change in an address that delighted his base.
Yet there were some plain shots at his opponents.
“We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate,” Obama said.
He also chided the GOP on entitlements, saying programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security “do not make us a nation of takers.”
Obama is not planning to rest on his laurels, urging his supporters to help him pass sweeping legislation in his second term.
Not coincidentally, Obama for America, the president’s campaign apparatus, was recently transformed into a 501(c)4 political action organization called Organizing for America.
In an email to his backers, Obama said Organizing for America “will be an unparalleled force in American politics.” He is committed to keeping his grassroots supporters motivated.
The president knows he must move quickly to pursue his agenda. The next six months will be telling for how successful Obama will be in his second term.
Quite simply, Obama is on a roll, and he intends to stay on a roll. After the “shellacking” he took in the 2010 elections, Obama rebounded and defeated Mitt Romney with relative ease.
Since Election Day, he took the GOP head-on on the fiscal cliff and signed into law a deal that many conservatives abhorred.
Obama is now refusing to deal with Republicans on the debt-ceiling hike, demanding a clean increase. GOP lawmakers have since backed off from their call that any debt-ceiling increase must be accompanied by spending cuts.
It wasn’t long ago when Obama was being criticized as a weak negotiator. In 2011, Republicans mocked him, saying they called his bluff. At that time, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he got 98 percent of what he wanted.
Earlier this month, a weakened Boehner said he is done negotiating one on one with the president.
Now, as in early 2009, Republicans are reeling. Unlike then, they have control of the House, but there is growing angst in GOP circles that Democrats could recapture the lower chamber in 2014.
Like any good politician, Obama is not going to wait for the Republican Party to get off the mat. He will keep the pressure on the GOP to get what he wants.