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How liberal 'triumphs' on Syria and Summers have weakened Obama (+video)

Liberals are feeling their oats after Obama's retreats on Syria policy and the expected Summers nomination. That could cost him as he negotiates with Republicans over government funding.

Why Larry Summers won't be fed chair
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The left is on a roll. Liberals successfully pushed back against President Obama’s plan to launch airstrikes in Syria, and then quashed the expected nomination of Larry Summers as the next chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.

That one-two punch from some usually loyal Democratic allies has left Mr. Obama in a weakened political state right as he enters tough negotiations with Republicans: to keep the government funded beyond Sept. 30, and to raise the limit on federal borrowing authority a few weeks later.

Republican House Speaker John Boehner is having an even harder time getting his own base to heel – but whether that’s good news for Obama is debatable.

What is clear, analysts say, is that emboldened liberals in Congress could make it harder for Obama to operate as he has in the past – that is, making major concessions to Republicans to win deals on government funding and to prevent a default on the debt.

The latest cause of liberal concern is over Obama’s reported willingness to agree to a short-term budget deal that retains the across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration – a position that even the House’s No. 2 Democrat, Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, opposes.


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