With his attempts to woo Democrats unsuccessful, President Obama turned to Republicans this week to help rescue his Asia trade hopes. Obama has succeeded in the first step, with the House voting to support Trade Promotion Authority for the President by a vote of 218 to 208. Just 28 Democrats supported the president. However, anyone who had been paying attention to the history of trade legislation over the last 20 years shouldn't have been surprised that Obama was going to struggle to get Democrats on board and that to win he'd need a bigger push from the GOP. Minutes after the defeat of the trade bill last Friday, many pundits and Hill observers pointed the finger at Obama’s weak/almost non-existent relationship with Capitol Hill. “If he can’t convince his own members to support him,” went their refrain, “how can he possibly succeed in getting anything else through Congress? “ However, the better question to ask was why the president thought he could actually get Democrats on board in the first place? In 1993, President Clinton was able to corral 40
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