The Obama administration offered a glimpse of its strategy going into the new year: Pillory congressional Republicans as obstructionist and sound populist themes in speeches across the country.
“In terms of the president’s relationship with Congress in 2012,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said at a briefing, according to The New York Times, "the president is no longer tied to Washington, D.C.”
Obama, who wrested a political victory from Congress earlier this month when House Republicans reversed their opposition to a two-month extension to a payroll-tax cut, plans to make a year extension of the tax holiday his final "must-do" legislation before the election, according to The Washington Post.
Obama invoked populist strains during a key speech in Oswatomie, Kansas, in early December.
"This is a make-or-break moment for the middle class, and for all those who are fighting to get into the middle class. Because what’s at stake is whether this will be a country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home, secure their retirement," Obama said.