For the moment, no credible primary challenger to Mr. Obama has emerged. But the anger on Monday extended beyond party activists. Democratic Congressional leaders acutely remember being cut out of the action when Mr. Clinton “triangulated” with Republicans in the 1990s, and Mr. Obama’s tax deal may provoke an open revolt.
Tony Fratto, a White House official under George W. Bush, said Mr. Obama failed to lay the groundwork with his own party. “Although the outcome here was inevitable, it will have real consequences for the president’s relationship with Congressional Democrats and his base,” Mr. Fratto said.
Mr. Obama seemed to recognize that during his remarks on Monday evening and addressed disappointed supporters.
“Sympathetic as I am to those who prefer a fight over compromise, as much as the political wisdom may dictate fighting over solving problems, it would be the wrong thing to do,” he said. “The American people didn’t send us here to wage symbolic battles or win symbolic victories.”
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