President Barack Obama repeatedly said during last year's presidential campaign that a partisan "fever" in Washington would break after the 2012 election, but on Monday, he acknowledge it hadn't broken yet.
Almost four months into his second term, the president told Democratic donors at a fundraiser in New York City that the nation's capital is still ensconsed by "hyper-partisanship."
"My thinking was when we beat them in 2012 that might break the fever, and it’s not quite broken yet," Obama said, according to pool reports of his remarks. "But I am persistent. And I am staying at it."
Obama had outlined an agenda heading into his second term headlined by immigration reform, gun control and reaching a wide-reaching fiscal deal with Republicans. So far, immigration reform only seems realistically attainable; a scaled-back version of Obama's gun control proposals was blocked in the Senate. A "grand bargain" on taxes and spending appears out of reach, as well.
Obama told his supporters that he still intended to seek a broad agenda, rather than succumb to the ennui of a lame-duck presidency. That included an allusion to forcing Republicans to pay a price at the polls in 2014 should they continue to block his agenda.
"My intentions over the next 3 ½ years are to govern," he said. "If there are folks who are more interested in winning elections than they are thinking about the next generation then I want to make sure there are consequences to that."