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Tue Dec 25, 2012, 06:06 PM

Why President Obama isn't caving [View all]

http://www.politico.com/story/2012/12/why-obama-isnt-caving-85443.html



President Barack Obama’s stiffening resolve during the fight over the fiscal cliff can be traced directly to the lessons he drew from his hard-won triumph of the 2012 campaign.

He whipped Republicans a second time, parried the best attacks they could muster, and is now demanding that they respect the victory, if not the man who won it. That doesn’t mean Obama won’t eventually compromise, especially with the specter of a renewed recession lingering just over the horizon, but his body language is a lot more combative than the kinder, gentler Obama negotiating style of yore.

His new toughness is rooted in the nature of his convincing November win over Mitt Romney. Obama was carried to the finish line by supporters after his epic flop at the Denver debate. That seeded in him a greater sense of confidence and deepened his resolve not to be rolled by a recalcitrant GOP, as he was during the bitter 2011 fight over the debt ceiling, according to interviews with staffers and friends for “The End of the Line,” an eBook published in collaboration between POLITICO and Random House.

After his 2008 win, he talked a lot about bipartisanship. This time he’s determined to squeeze it out of Republicans. He believes he owes that to the people who voted for him.

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