2014-03-05T005504Z_1_CBREA2402JX00_RTROPTP_2_USA-FISCAL

Obama budget: a boon midterm narrative for Democrats?

Copies of U.S. President Barack Obama's Fiscal Year 2015 Budget are delivered to The House Budget Committee on Capitol Hill in WashingtonBy Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s populist budget proposal, announced on Tuesday, is a pointed attempt to bolster ties with congressional Democrats ahead of high-stakes elections in November. It reflects a marked difference in tone and substance from last year when the president sought to draw Republicans into deficit-reduction talks by proposing to trim the growth of the Social Security retirement program. After those negotiations went nowhere, Obama has returned to a more traditionally Democratic stance and dropped the idea of revamping entitlement spending that upset some of his Democratic allies in Congress. “What Obama learned is that it’s good to have these relationships and good to build them, but it’s not going to get you anywhere,” said Norm Ornstein, a political analyst at the American Enterprise Institute.

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