Obama to Democrats: 'We Still Have to Lead'

President reminds senators they still have a big majority
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 3, 2010 11:03 AM CST
Obama to Democrats: 'We Still Have to Lead'
President Obama listens to a question from Sen. Arlen Specter.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Obama implored Senate Democrats today to stay aggressive in pushing their agenda despite the loss of one vital seat, saying: "We still have to lead." Speaking to his party's senators at their strategy conference, Obama reminded Democrats they still hold a 59-41 majority. For Democrats searching for a lesson from the loss in Massachusetts, "the answer is not to do nothing," he said.

Obama urged Democrats to push legislation that, above all else, will help people get jobs. He encouraged them to avoid the temptation to "tread lightly, keep your head down, and play it safe." Obama also chided Republicans for overuse of the filibuster. He said Democrats in 2009 had to cast more votes to overcome that procedural delay than were needed in the 1950s and 1960s combined. "That's 20 years of obstruction packed into just one," he said. (Read more President Obama stories.)

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