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Obama Doesn’t Need to Care What People Think

President Obama works on his immigration speech with Cody Keenan and David Litt.

There is one small silver lining to being a lame duck President who led his party to historically bad loses and faces an uncompromising Republican Congress, you can stop caring what people think. It is very limiting, but also liberating.

I’ve seen several polls about President Obama’s executive action on immigration and articles on how Democrats plan to sell it, but the simple fact is Obama just doesn’t need to care about the short term politics of it. He is never running again and he has no reason to believe Congressional Republicans would work with him no matter what he does.

While this immigration move is going to cause a lot of headlines over the next month, it is a very long time until 2016 and the public has a short political memory. Just think back to the government shutdown. That was one of the biggest and highest profile political fights in Washington ever, but it stopped affecting people almost the minute it was over. After a year the public had moved on to more pressing concerns and ended up voting for Republicans.

Obama doesn’t need to worry about how any of his executive actions play at the moment, only that they are good ideas. If his actions mostly make people’s lives better over the next two years, they will become popular or mostly forgotten. If his actions make people’s lives worse, they will become unpopular no matter how good a job Democrats do trying to sell them.

White House photo by Pete Souza

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at