Immigration reform, another attempt at a long-term deficit reduction agreement and a push to prevent more countries from developing or obtaining nuclear weapons are likely major items of a second-term Obama agenda, according to The New Yorker.
The magazine interviewed top Obama advisers for an extensive piece on what the president would focus on if he wins a second term in office. On the campaign trail, Obama has largely defended his first three years in office and contrasted his vision with Mitt Romney’s on the campaign trail, so the piece offered one of the first detailed looks at Obama’s vision for the future.
In the piece, Obama advisers predicted the White House and Republicans would have time to put aside political differences and reach agreements on major issues from the start of 2013 until around June 2014, when both sides start looking towards the congressional elections.
A broad agreement on fiscal issues, particularly the long-term solvency of Medicare, has been elusive for the two parties, who spent much of 2011 unable to reach any compromise, any part because of Republican resistance to any tax increases. Obama aides said the president would make another attempt if he wins a second term, but it’s unclear if the parties are still too divided for anything to pass.
Obama advisers seemed most confident about immigration reform. They argue that if Obama wins, it will be in part because of a huge margin among Latino voters. Republicans will then have a political imperative to become more supportive of proposals that make it easier to Latinos who are undocumented immigrants to become citizens.
“If we win, Latino voters will play a big role in that,” said David Plouffe, one of Obama’s top advisers. “The Republican Party is going to have to make a decision. I don’t think it’s much of a decision actually. They’re going to have to moderate.”