“The one personnel change Obama most urgently needs,” David Rothkopf call it. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid enjoyed a ten vote majority throughout the past year but couldn’t get anything done. It took nearly all of 2009 to pass a health care reform bill while the Senate hasn’t gotten around to addressing climate chance, energy and financial reform yet.
He may be “a great guy with an inspiring personal story,” notes Rothkopf but the Democrats need stronger leadership in the Senate. If it hadn’t been for Reid, the administration might have accomplished many of its stated goals already.
If the Senate had passed every bill the House has already passed and the President had signed into law major health care reform and major climate and energy legislation (to pick just two items caught in the Senate logjam), Obama and his team would be hailed for the best opening year since Roosevelt.
Although Illinois Senator Dick Durbin is the next in line, Rothkopf recommends Chuck Schumer, the senior Senator from New York. “He’s the only one with a shot at becoming a Lyndon Johnson-like, master of the Senate.” But he will only be able to pull it off with the active support of the White House. “That’s a one-two punch that might get something done,” writes Rothkopf, and really “the one personnel issue that should be getting the most attention in DC circles these days.”