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Argument: Presidents can effectively control members of their own Party

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Linda Feldmann. "Ups and downs in history of one-party rule". Christian Science Monitor. 28 Oct. 2008 - Michael Waldman, a former speechwriter for Clinton, sees a different dynamic at play in Obama’s relations with Congress, if he wins the presidency, from what his old boss experienced.

“If the Democrats gain seats, they’ll attribute it to Obama coattails, which Clinton did not have,” says Mr. Waldman. Back in 1992, when Clinton won the presidency, “there was a sense that Democrats only got kudos for standing up to the president of their own party.”

Now, he adds, “the Democratic leadership of Congress in both chambers seems very aware that their fortunes are tied to the success of a Democratic president, if there is one.”

Stephen Hess, a Brookings Institution scholar, says that if elected, Obama and his team will have to engage in a lot of negotiations to keep his congressional majority “well-oiled and functioning.” That is especially true, he says, when the party in power wins a lot of seats in areas that traditionally favor the other party, in this case, the Republicans.

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