To Succeed, Obama and Congress Must Stay Tight

Dems eager to make mark after GOP domination, but priorities could shred unity
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2008 2:31 PM CST
Joe Biden's experience on Capitol Hill could help Obama bridge the gap.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Democrats in Congress and Barack Obama want to move quickly once he assumes office, but they must pull in the same direction to achieve anything, Naftali Bendavid writes in the Wall Street Journal. “Pent-up energy among House Democrats” could test Obama’s centrist leanings, one observer notes, and history is peppered with examples of a ruling majority rent by intra-party bickering.

“Unity is required for us to accomplish the goals we want,” said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, recently appointed liaison to the White House. Congressional Democrats claim to be on the same page with Obama, and speak of quick action on the economy. But “they are more than merely Democrats,” one analyst cautioned; pet projects and regional interests could slow the wheels of change to a crawl.