Posted: 8:57 pm Wednesday, July 1st, 2015
By Jamie Dupree
On a number of fronts over the last two weeks, President Obama has been anything but a lame duck in the White House, as his administration has celebrated two major Supreme Court wins, a victory on trade legislation, all while pushing ahead with foreign and domestic policy changes that have drawn sharp criticism from Republicans.
The latest came on Wednesday, as the President announced that the U.S. and Cuba would move to restore formal diplomatic relations, and re-open embassies in their respective capitals of Havana and Washington, D.C.
“When the United States shuttered our embassy in 1961, I don’t think anyone expected that it would be more than half a century before it re-opened,” the President said, with Vice President Biden at his side.
“This is not merely symbolic. With this change, we will be able to substantially increase our contacts with the Cuban people,” Mr. Obama argued.
For Democrats, it was a long overdue decision.
“President Obama’s bold leadership has opened a new era of possibility in U.S.-Cuban relations,” said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.
The move by the President was yet another good day for his administration in recent weeks.
Credit where credit I due. Team POTUS is on a roll these days. No lame duck for them
— Jim Manley (@jamespmanley) July 1, 2015
That tweet from Jim Manley, a former top aide for Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA), reminds me of something I learned a long time ago – never underestimate the power of a President, of either party, at any time.
Next up on Thursday will be the roll out of an Obama Administration plan to make more people eligible for overtime pay; that’s another regulation the President can unilaterally authorize as the head of the Executive Branch.
It’s not a President who is operating in neutral gear right now.
About the Author
Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog. A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989.