Obama Pursues Unusual Strategy on Guns: Choosing to Lose


Politico asks why President Obama is breaking his own “rule” by pressing for gun control legislation even though it is likely to fail in the House. He “appears willing to burn political capital by pressuring Senate Democrats to vote for a measure that is likely to die in the House, a symbolic victory that sets the stage, he hopes, for more meaningful ones,” Politico says. Obama said yesterday of the gun package: “I will put everything I've got into this. [ ] I tell you the only way we can change is if the American people demand it.”

Obama has no alternative but to push ahead, given the magnitude of the Newtown shootings and his emotional reaction to it. He has framed the gun issue as a moral imperative — and can't abide inaction, not after the tearful pledge he made to victims' families. Senior Senate aides say that to pass the gun legislation, Obama will have to do what he has never been willing to do before: lobby Democrats one by one, making the case that a perilous vote is the right thing to do.

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