Nov. 1, 2012
Confrontations abroad. A divided Congress at home. A budget stalemate on the horizon that threatens another recession.
Come Nov. 7, President Obama or President-elect Mitt Romney might be forgiven if he pines for the good old days of campaign rallies and negative ads.
The world won't wait for either man to enjoy his victory celebration. The bad blood and battle lines between Democrats and Republicans are likely to spill over rather swiftly from politics to policy matters. And only 55 days will remain before a convergence of tax increases and spending cuts threatens to throw the slowly healing U.S. economy back into recession.
"If you watch cable news on any station the day after the election, all you're going to hear is 'countdown to the fiscal cliff,'" says Erskine Bowles, who co-chaired a fiscal commission that recommended nearly $4 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years...
After a relentlessly negative campaign that was the most expensive in history, the central challenge for Obama or Romney might be to repair relations with the other party. By all accounts, it won't be easy...
Either president should "devise a strategy to reach out (to Congress) and almost do nothing else," says Dan Glickman, a former Democratic congressman now at the Bipartisan Policy Center. "There's just no way to get big legislation through without working them, massaging them, toasting them, dining with them."
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Democracy Project, 2012 Politics