Morning Joe | March 07, 2013
>>> welcome back to " morning joe ." it's time for "must-read op-eds." here's an interesting take. this is matt mill from her "the washington post ." it's 1995 all over again. "apart from obamacare, what's the president's legacy beyond having avoided a second great depression? republicans just got 82% of the bush tax cuts made permanent. they're forcing washington to debate deficits instead of jobs in ways that serve their partisan cause. these endless budget clashes are running out the clock on the affirmative portion of obama's second term. if you put aside the falsehoods republicans peddle and the inadequacy of their agenda to america's needs, as a matter of politics, their dominance of the debate is impressive. if this is how a retrograde party in disarray plays the game, who knows what's in store if the republicans get their act together." of course, i disagree with -- you know, a lot of his suggestions here about the retrograde party, but he brings up a great point. the president is frozen in place and is not advancing any part of the agenda that he wants to advance right now.
>> i think a piece of the reason why you now see him reaching out in these dinners, i think he realized -- i'm sure he realized a long time ago because it's obvious that his second-term record will depend heavily on whether or not he gets something done on the budget. if the budget becomes this morass where people like you and me and jonathan, whatever, are saying at the end of this process, are we worse off than we were before, then that's really bad for his second temprm. i think that's right except i think they probably lose, too, because they don't really have an agenda at the moment.
>> the thing is, we're the maen who has nothing to lose. republicans' approval rating is so low already, jonathan. the president's got to figure out a way to work with them, and it looks like he's doing just that.
>> he's trying his best, going around the leadership that he's had problems with, going to rank-and-file members, going to the american people , people call it the president campaigning. but it's trying to get people outside of washington to put pressure on the people inside of washington to get something done.
>> so kelly o'donnell, where does he stand right now? this piece is about legacy. if you believe the premise of that piece that he is sort of stuck underneath all this, where does he go from here?
>> well, i did put that to senators who were at the dinner, trying to get a sense of was that a part of the tone? and while legacy wasn't specifically talked about, there was, i'm told, an awareness of the urgency on budget issues in terms of a very limited amount of time. that the president apparently thinks he has the republicans acknowledge as well. and i was told when you're talking about a continuing budget resolution that might continue things till september, that's sort of a window that there was sort of a clear-eyed view about in the room last night, about wanting to get something done. which goes against a bit of some of the popular theory right now that the president is more focused on trying to get democrats back in charge of the house, making his final couple of years clearer running room for him to get things done. i got a sense from those there last night that that was not a conspiracy theory that was at work at table, that there was more of a sense of urgency. and that is probably a good thing for getting things done.
>> i actually think the sequester, which everybody really talked down about, i think maybe that was something that broke the ice. the president went around campaigning. it didn't really move anything. his numbers didn't go up. and republicans didn't move. now this is plan "b." let's hope it works. thank you so much, kelly.
>>> still ahead on " morning joe ," the dow keeps climbing, but what does it mean for your retirement account, and what does it mean for working americans? still suffering in this long recession? financial editor jean chatzky joins the table straight ahead . we'll be back on