President Barack Obama may be relegated to the role of a spectator on one of his priority issues, immigration, as his influence wanes early in his second term, says author and political columnist David Freddoso.
"I think he is nearly a lame duck at this point," Freddoso told TheBlaze in a video interview (below). "I would not be surprised going forward, after what happened on guns and the sequester, he's going to be a spectator during this immigration bill as they consider it, I would not expect him to have a lot of influence on the outcome. Democrats were tuning him out even before he was reelected."
Freddoso has had his ear to the ground in Washington for over a decade, having previously served as the Editorial Page Editor for The Washington Examiner and Capitol Hill reporter for National Review Online and Human Events. In 2013, Freddoso authored "Spin Masters: How the Media Ignored the Real News and Helped Re-elect Barack Obama," and spoke with TheBlaze contributor Mallory Factor this week on the fading Obama influence over Capitol Hill in the president's second term.
So why is Obama's influence on the decline? Lets start with the stricter gun control measures advocated by the president that fell apart in the Democrat-controlled Senate last month.
Freddoso said the White House's expectations were too high to begin with on gun control in the wake of Sandy Hook, and all but one GOP senator up for reelection in 2014 could have been hurt voting against gun control.
After the gun control measure failure, Obama impotently lashed out at those who voted against his wishes, Freddoso said. In the wake of failure on gun control liberal groups now say they will go after Democrats who voted against gun control, possibly costing the left several seats.
"All that they've gained from this whole exercise -- President Obama put his party in a box, and it's a box that is going to cause them to possibly lose seats in places like Arkansas and Montana," Freddoso told TheBlaze early this week.
"Obama's second term basically depends on his ability to seize the Congress back from Republicans because his entire agenda has been stopped at this point. You saw the gun control vote stopped, you saw him lose on the sequester, all of these things are now harder for him specifically because he decided to pick this battle and force this vote."
Freddoso said Mark Pryor in Arkansas will be the first Democrat Senator to have a hard time in a primary thanks to groups likes Mayors Against Illegal Guns and President Obama's Organizing for Action, after he did not fall in line with the party on gun control.
"They have decided that it is worth--in order to ideologically purge the Democratic Party of people who are too supportive of gun rights, they simply want to defeat Pryor," Freddoso told TheBlaze, noting Democratic Senator from Alaska Mark Begich could face the same fate. "They are not trying to educate people about their issue necessarily, their goal is to put his scalp on their wall."
From the showdown with FAA, sequestration and gun control, the president is reeling, Freddoso said..
Freddoso told TheBlaze that leading into sequestration, everyone expected at first that it was something Obama would win on. However, once Republicans changed their attitude about taxing those making over $400,000 and on defense cuts, Obama was caught off guard with no plan.
Freddoso compares the GOP strategy to a "game-winning queen sacrifice in chess."
Watch journalist and author David Freddoso's full interview with TheBlaze below: