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Can Obama Go It Alone After His Inaugural Address? Can Obama Go It Alone After His Inaugural Address?

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Can Obama Go It Alone After His Inaugural Address?

The Political Landscape is a weekly conversation with Atlantic Media writers, editors and outside experts on the news of the day.


This past Monday was President Obama’s second Inauguration Day. During Obama's Inaugural Address, he surprised many with extended mentions of at-times verboten progressive issues like climate change and gay rights.

To accomplish his agenda, several key members of Obama’s team over the last four years — David Axelrod and David Plouffe, to name two — are leaving to start a 501(c)(4) lobbying organization to push Obama’s legislative priorities forward.

They’re doing that because, as National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar writes in his column this week, Obama and his advisers know that his interests don't always align with those of Senate Democrats. Kraushaar is the executive editor of National Journal Hotline. We’ll get his take on how successful this unprecedented lobbying strategy will be.

Then, we’ll talk with Jim Bendat, author of Democracy’s Big Day: The Inauguration of Our President 1789-2013. Bendat might know more stories about Inauguration Day than anyone else. He’ll share the story of the time Andrew Jackson had to put barrels of whiskey on the White House front lawn to get rowdy reception guests to leave, and the story of how former President Calvin Coolidge’s own father ended up giving his son the oath of office.

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