April 6th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

What happened to idea of bipartisanship?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Barack Obama has the biggest partisan gap in his early job approval rating of any president in the last 40 years. A new Pew Research Center poll shows 88 percent of Democrats approve of the president; but only 27 percent of Republicans think he's getting it done. That's a stunning 61 point gap.

Even George W. Bush only had a 51 point partisan gap early in his administration. Of course that was before 9/11 and the phony reasons for invading Iraq. President Clinton had a 45 point gap.

Researchers suggest this growing partisan divide is part of a long-term trend. Looking at early approval ratings for Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon, a majority of Republicans actually approved of Carter's job performance; and a majority of Democrats backed Nixon at similar points in their first terms.

When it comes to President Obama, the partisan gap is especially curious since this is someone who won the election by forming a coalition of voters from across the spectrum. Then-candidate Obama promised to bring a post-partisan brand of politics to Washington; and since his inauguration, the president has made an effort to reach out to Republicans in Congress - meeting with them privately about the economic stimulus bill, inviting them to a White House Super Bowl party, and including them in various on camera meetings at the White House. But apparently it's not working.

Here’s my question to you: What happened to the idea of bipartisanship?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Daniel from Indiana writes:
It doesn't exist in America at the present and probably won't for a generation or two. The Republican Party still believes in the Bush technique of you're either with me or against me. They have no desire to compromise, even if it costs them another election. We are a nation of extremes and the hatred is very apparent.

Chris from Buffalo, New York writes:
After we elected the most radical left-wing president in our nation's history, why should we be surprised that there is a lack of bi-partisanship in Washington today? Bush, Clinton, Carter, Nixon...these men were all middle of the road moderates compared with the way Mr. Obama has been governing during his first two and a half months in office.

Lisa from Georgia writes:
Jack, Bipartisanship died when the Republicans didn't win the election. They are selfish people that will let America fall because of their divisiveness. They must remember "we the people" have woken up and it will be a long, long time before they take office again... if their party survives the downhill spiral it is already on.

Diana from San Miguel Allende, Mexico writes:
Since Rush Limbaugh has become the spokesman for the party of Hoover, I would say that bipartisanship is in the toilet.

Alex from Miami writes:
Bipartisanship seems to have gone the way of the rest of Obama’s campaign promises. He's brought in all the same old politicians both from Chicago and the Clinton administration. He has been as partisan as he was in the Senate. I see neither hope nor change in his presidency thus far.

Sharon writes:
What happened? The GOP thinks bipartisanship means "You give us whatever we want and you can have what's left." And it was Republican Grover Norquist, Bush's so-called "field marshal" who famously called bipartisanship "date rape." That should tell you all you need to know.

Filed under: Bipartisanship
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Tyler

    Bipartisanship died when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. During the Cold War, everyone felt united against the threat of Communism–now that the threat of Communism is gone, the Republicans are working for themselves without regard for what's best for the country. If Republicans don't want to work with the Obama Administration and the Democratic majority, fine–but I hope they're prepared to accept the blame for the continuing downward spiral that this country is in.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  2. Viktor

    What happened to bipartisanship? Ask the neocons who hijacked the once great Republican party. Ask those who want Obama to fail, who show Obama with Nazi party banners in the background, who poison the political discourse with hateful demagoguery. And you thought the Bush bashers were bad?

    April 6, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  3. Tyrone

    It's really quite simple Jack! Republicans are scared stiff that President Obama might just succeed. So no matter how hard he tries to reach out to them and include them, they will still continue to turn their noses up to his offers...

    April 6, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  4. Mead, Phoenix AZ

    Bipartisanship is by definition a two-way street, so there's no way President Obama can make it happen on his own. Given some of John Boehner's recent - and highly partisan - statements, it's quite clear that some Republicans in Congress have absolutely no intention of allowing Barack Obama to become known as the man who brought bipartisanship to Washington, D.C.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  5. Diana Florida

    What happened? Ask the Republican Party...the party of NO to ANYTHING not thought of by them. They could care less about the American people in these difficult times.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  6. Jeff from Indiana

    C'mon Jack,

    Obama represents all the principles we need to move into a progressive future, everything the Republicans would not or did not do. They failed and now they are doing anything to stay relevant.. but their party is outdated and useless. They know the time for narrow-minded conservatism is running out.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  7. Al

    What happened to bipartisanship? D.O.A. thanks to the Republican Party who offers nothing but "more of the same".

    April 6, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  8. Pat Chappell

    Unfortunately, bipartisanship will never occur as long as both sides can find nothing the other side does that is right.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  9. Jim Nolan

    Bipartisanship ended because the GOP is no longer the party of Lincoln, but rather the party of Limbaugh and Palin.

    Boise, ID

    April 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  10. John, Fort Collins, CO

    When not a single house Republican voted for the economic stimulus bill it became crystal clear the party was setting the tone to be obstructive rather than consturctive. Throw Rush Limbaugh into the mix and we have an even more polarized Republican base. And, at the same time, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid thumbed their noses at the opposition, further fanning the flames. It appears to me President Obama was by himself when it came to working in a bipartisan fashion.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  11. Dennis

    its almost comical to see a completely partisan person, Jack, wonder what happened to bipartisanship.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  12. stillonline

    The Republicants are like a Frat House after the party'. Nothing but empty beer cans, pizza boxes and a couple of guys too drunk to drive home. They're in no mood to talk.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  13. Greg, Ontario

    President Obamas biggest mistake was assuming the GOP was intelligent enough to see the wisdom in bipartisanship. He over estimated their patriotism and you can't really blame the guy for that but you should be bringing it to the attention of the American people.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  14. Doris Ky.

    Jack, bipartisanship only existed with the President the Repubs never had intentions of working with the President. This was only a farce they still can't accept the fact they lost .they would prefer to sacrifice the country before they become bipartisan. They have to prove nothing will change and the good old boys will continue to rule.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  15. Edward Ingram

    Ask the Republicans!

    April 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  16. Will from Sunrise Florida

    The answer is simple: Rush Limbaugh and his cronies at Fox News. Rush said it himself, the Republicans' idea of bipartisanship is "we make them do what we want to".

    If people stopped listening to facists like Rush Limbaugh, we might actually get partisanship. Until that happens they'll just keep drinking the proverbial kool-aid.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  17. Gordon Johnston

    The republicans can't afford to be bipartisan. They proved that when Bill Clinton became to popular, hence the Ken Starr inquisition, the refusing to vote for bills that they privately agreed with. It would just make the President more powerful. Same with President Obama.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  18. Amy Finch, NY

    Obama can do his best to be bipartisan, but if the Republicans won't play, there will be no bipartisanship. It is about time that those in Washington grow up and stop acting like junior high school student in their cliques. We are in important times that demand the best out of all of us, and politicans should use their brains to make decisions, instead of making the decision which they think will get them re-elected.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  19. Ron

    Bipartisanship must be more than simply asking everyone else to agree with President Obama. It didn't work for Mr. Bush when he tried it and it won't (and shouldn't) work for President Obama now that he is trying it. We seem to have lost the skill of compromise on both sides of the aisle. That is the primary differenence between the parties today versus 20 years ago.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  20. Lydia G.

    The Republicans is what happen to the bipartisanship!. From the beginning they have try to thwart , railroad, and block all together the efforts of President Obama. Shame on them!

    April 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  21. Kerm, Barbados

    Right wing dingbats like Hannity and Limbaugh who spew senseless drivel to their large, not-so-smart conservative following, that's what.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  22. Felicia

    It proves one thing, and one thing only Jack: Racism, knee-jerk racism for which the Republican Party needs a political psychoanalysis. Do Americans really not understand why the Attorney General called us a nation of cowards?

    Gainesville Florida

    April 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  23. Miriam Gray

    Bipartisanship works when both sides are open to the possibility and by their words, actions and opinions, support it. The Party of No Way,
    (Republican) cannot seem to grasp that simple fact.

    Miriam Gray
    Sacramento, CA

    April 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  24. Michael, Liverpool, NY

    His policies happened. President Obama's policies have been strongly Liberal, even independents like me don't like the way he is doing things. I suspect that Both parties want this divide since Liberals pressed their agenda adn Conservatives rallied in opposition, thus the partisan divide.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  25. Tina

    The repub;licans have been Bushed they want it their way or no way at all!!!

    April 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  26. George

    "Bipartisanship" is a myth. How can 2 conflicting ideologies "come together" without compromising what they believe?

    April 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  27. Chris Caffrey

    Well to be completely honest, I really don't think the republicans are ever going to agree with Obama because of the fact that to do so they would have to admit to all the mistakes made in the last eight years.

    Republicans are trying to save face by saying that Obama is no better. The fact of the matter is, Obama is having to not only change things for the better but fix the mistakes of the last administration.

    It is childish yes, but Obama has the support from the people he needs it from which are the people that understand that the last eight years were a majority of mistakes and that Obama does have positive changes that can and will be put into place.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  28. maurice

    when was there any??

    April 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  29. John

    Bipartisanship? We don't need no stikin Bipartisanship.

    Republicans will not need Bipartisanship until they have a package they need passed.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  30. Dicky Neely

    Hi Jack,
    I think that racism, plain and simple, is behind much of Obama's negatives. Also the "war on Obama" the Congressional Republican leadership, the GOP in general and the right wing looneys on the talk shows are engaged in drives these numbers as well.
    It is too bad but I don't think they would ever give Obama a chance because they agree with Rush Limbaugh that they "...want Obama to fail!"

    April 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  31. Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins

    The Republicans killed it. And instead of hurting their imagined opponent, they have dug their own graves.

    (Newt Gingrich's recent promise to split their party is just one more piece of evidence regarding their self-destructive tendencies. This just makes me a happier Democrat.)

    April 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  32. Richard Williams in Larchmont, NY

    The reason is that the President is attempting to accomplish things in a way that Washington is not used to. Too many in the Senate and the House know only one way of doing things. Give the President time and Capitol Hill will not be the same.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  33. Dean H. - San Francisco

    If Republicans were handed a fist full of hundred dollar bills and Rush Limbaugh told them it was goat poop, they would drop them and wash up. According to the right wing media, we are careening fast towards the apocolypse. Who would be in favor of that? Maybe they need better news sources.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  34. Pete

    Are you not surprised at these results? It's a bunch of old republican white men still bitter from the election results. Get over it! Until they do there will be no bipartisanship.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  35. Ugonna Wosu

    well, Jack, I think its supposed to get worse before it gets better. Part of the problem is that his bipartisan agenda is in stark contrast to the Repub agenda in Congress. They don't want bipartisanship, they want to start winning again. They feel the best way to do so is to keep themselves in opposition to the president on everything, and discredit him on everything and prove their better for the country than he and the Dems are. So, you have the Repubs in Congress firing up their base by going on TV and talking about how wrong Obama is, and how he's a socialist ruining things, and it makes the Repubs at home start to dislike him and pull away. Obama has 4 years to see if he can fight against that effectively.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  36. Gerald Tinnon

    Jack, let's be honest and say it like it is. The Republicans have no interest in cooperation. They show it daily in their rhetoric and actions. Historically, they never have. Look at their constant obstructive actions during the Clinton Administration. They have only one agenda, power. However, with their current inability to say "yea" and their current determination to say "nay," they will soon find themselves as a party of nothing but wild eyed right wingers and evangelicals.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  37. Charlea from Vermont

    "Bi" means "Two". Obama has made many efforts to foster "BI-partisanship". It takes Two willing participants to make a viable relationship. Trying to make Obama solely responsible for the failure is like blaming the battered wife for not making a "successful marriage". The GOP is determined to mess it up, and they have succeeded.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  38. Mr. Smarty Pamts

    Bi-partisianship is an idea that will only be implemented when its the only option available.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  39. Al Davis

    Have you asked Rush Limbaugh about that? Sadly, his influence over many conservative Republicans exceeds his willingness to accept the reality that Mr. Obama is our president and will be for at least 3 more years.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  40. Swooper

    Bipartisanship went out the window along with Rethuglican morals.

    Obama has made several good-faith efforts to be inclusive of Rethuglicans only to have his open hand slapped away. Instead of working together to get this country out of the problems Bush & Co. got us into, the Rethuglicans have decided to become the 'disloyal opposition' and oppose any and all efforts by Obama to get the economy back on it's feet and to improve the standing of the USA with the world.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  41. Chris C

    Bipartisanship doesnt work, competition works. Each party has their own principles and should fight with each other. Bipartisanship is the key word for cover up.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  42. john hardy

    Lets face it. If Obama is sucessful, the Republicans will look worse than they already do and probably lose more political reces. That means more to them than helping the country so they are fighting for their very political lives to ensure he fails to fix the country. They will fight him every step of the way.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  43. John T.

    This is an easy one. 100% of Republicans didn't want it to begin with. 27% are turncoats or have a backbone. You pick it !!!!

    April 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  44. Kirsten from Tuscaloosa, AL

    It went out the window when Republicans started caring more about being bitter over their collective spanking in the last election and less about working together to get us all out of this economic mess. They gripe about Obama wasting time by filling out an NCAA bracket but waste much more time nursing their bruised egos.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  45. grammiej

    To me a couple things come to mind as far as the GOP actions lately. Stubbornness and childish fit what I have seen from the GOP since Obama has become our President. It is sad, we are in such a horrible mess as far as the economy goes. It is also regretful that the GOP cannot seem to get past it's loss in the election, so they continue to behave like "stubborn children"! Just my thoughts

    April 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  46. moni davis

    Fox "News" – is what happened. That explains this large gap in the opinion polls on Pres. Obama. Looking for polarizing misinformation, if not to say propaganda – look no further. They are also in my mind responsible for fueling the fire among the "crazy" with talk of how Pres. Obama will take away their guns, etc. etc. Issue directives to O'Reilly, Hannity, Glenn beck and CNN's own Lou Dobbs to tone down their hateful and misleading rhetoric.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  47. K. Miner

    Bipartisanship requires two to participate...Obama extends his hand but it's the Republicans that aren't cooperating...so tell me who is not seeking engagement? Shame on the Republicans for their lack of patriotism in our time of dire need.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  48. Mike

    The republicans are what happened. Rather than support the president of the country they so call love so much; they prefer to block everything he's tring to do so he can fail, and hence, the country will fail thats how petty they are.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  49. Lee In Minnesota

    The conservatives are threatened by intelligence and success. They are focused on the politics of the next election, not solving American problems. There NO attitude on everything is what got us into this mess. They will NO their way right into political extension. Why are the conservatives not working for the people?? They proposed a budget that was right out of the past 8 years..WOW....Da Thank god we have a new intelligent President that can multi process and rebuild respect for America.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  50. Patrick in Athens, GA

    You must realize that a large percentage of Republicans these days are in fact re-branded Dixiecrats who are still in shock that a black person won the election. Nothing he can do will be acceptable in their eyes. All of Georgia history, for example, has been predicated on keeping "us" white folks in charge and "them", be they Indians or blacks, at bay. Which is perhaps why history is so very vaguely taught in Georgia schools.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  51. Steve Charb

    Democrats hear bipartisanship, and they think of Republicans acting like Democrats. Republicans hear bipartisanship, and they think of Democrats acting like Republicans. When either party sees its own members actually participating in bipartisanship, they think "Traitors! Appeasers!"

    April 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  52. Judi in Illinois

    In those earlier years, we did not have 24 hour media chatter putting every nuance, misstep, and "soundbite" under the microscope to be disected, manipulated, reconfigured, moved out of context with the sole purpose to distort reality so a "preferred" perception could be manufactured. I go bonkers when I see those "for the good of the people public service statements" appear on TV that are NEITHER for the good of the people NOR a public service. They serve an agenda of their own design and dig a greater trench in the partisan devide.

    The partisan gap is not accidental and has less to do with the leadership we have and more to do with personal agenda.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  53. Bernadette Loesch

    Dear Jack, The Republican party will continue to rebuff any sort of bi-partisan gesture by Democrats. They are much too full of themselves and wealthy to think that they need to give in to ANYONE, ANYWHERE, ANY HOW!

    April 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  54. Alfred Thornton - Cazadero, CA

    You can bring the Republicans in but you can make them take part.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  55. Scott

    I'm a life-long Democrat living in Georgia, and I voted unreservedly for Mr. Obama. But everyone from my brother (another life-long Dem) to my plumber to friends both online and in the flesh have an almost pathological aversion to President Obama. I hate to attribute it to race, but some of the irrational arguments I hear leave me with little else to pin it on. I think he's doing a fantastic job so far; perhaps with time, he will close that gap your poll numbers show, Jack.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  56. Mike Huett, New Mexico

    What happened? I can tell you very simply. The Republicans are scared as heck that they may have to jump on the band wagon with the Democrats. Wow! That can's happen because then things would get done too easily. I am a Democrat, but I can tell you I can't stand the way Washington is played.....with the two parties worried about their own backs and not their constituents. I would absolutely love to see these two parties come to their sences and put this country first, and their own egos on the back burner.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  57. Ken Boozer

    Republicans are so determined to keep bipartisanship from workiing that they will do anything to defeat it - even if it means destroying their own party. And it might work - you can't have bipartisanship with only one party.

    Ken Boozer,
    San Diego

    April 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  58. Martha Sample

    Jack. the only reason is that President Obama is black , those old white Republicans cannot take that a black is finally in charge.Go Obama

    April 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  59. Dara Linthwaite

    My feeling is that Mr. Obama keeps reaching out, but the Republicans are acting like proverbial sore losers. If the president doesn't do it their way, they cry "foul". The Republicans had 8 years of "their" way...it's time to try doing things differently and ,dare I say, better than before.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  60. Mel Kozek

    I suspect that your numbers on the bipartisan gap are accurate if you only discuss Republicans and Democrats, but you left out a very important (maybe the largest), Independents.

    Those are the people who swung the election in Obama's direction. I think if you would include them in some way the gap would be far smaller.

    I trace the recent rise in partisanship to Newt Gingrich's term as Speaker of the House, and to the rise in involvement of the Christian Right. There just isn't any compromising with those folks. Just look at the voting patterns during Clinton and Bush's terms and it is obvious that Republicans won't even come close to being "bipartisan".

    April 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  61. Don

    It's like a marriage. It won't work unless both parties are willing to try. Republicans will never try.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  62. William Shoemaker

    Re: bipartisan question
    It's obvious what happened; the Republicans don,t want it. They much for it when they were in office. Bipartisanship in Republican terms is giving in to the other guy.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  63. Mark (London, Ontario, Canada)

    Jack, perhaps there's a large gap because the number of people who identify themselves as Republicans is the lowest its been in ages while the number of people who identify themselves as Democrats continues to increase. Just a thought.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  64. Bob

    Jack, for whatever reason the Republicans are not respecting bipartisanship. I don't believe the Republicans understand bipartisanship.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  65. Ron Ouellette

    It takes TWO to tango, but the Republicans are showing their TRUE
    DYSFUNCTION. The had control for 12 years and look where we
    ended up. Their ideas are just simply STALE and OLD and from where I sit I haven't seen them provide anything NEW. They are so
    teed off that they lost they keep playing the ole FEAR game and the
    reaction from the World about President Obama and the first lady is
    so fresh and warm that they don't know what to do. I have a hint for
    them, why not ceast to exist and we'll let another group form like the
    Green Party, the Liberatarians etc.
    Ron – Florida

    April 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  66. dick

    This only shows the true color of the Republican Party...an EVIL EMPIRE within our own house! They are war mongers, bigots and the party of the Rich and influencial. They are truly not "for the People".

    April 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  67. Jack from Phoenix


    Isn't that an oxymoron? I thought the point of the two parties was to have opposing views. As a Democrat, I am more than happy to see distinct differences between the parties. Sometimes I think the facade of bipartisanship is a false premise pushed by the media because it isn't truly achievable.

    Maybe I am wrong....

    April 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  68. Karen

    The Republicans are scared...why? If Obama does turn this thing around....at home and globally, many of these arrogant, American first and American best, ideals so broadly tossed around these last years are disproved. The Black man of the world did what all the white guys in America couldn't.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  69. Mark WI.

    Jack, the Republicans are not use to CHANGE when it comes to the Presidency. I believe they are running scared, President Obama for sure, and as promised, is running our country different from all of his predecessors. Most Americans wanted this change, the Republicans don't know how to handle it. They are lost in the cloud of dust left behind President Obama as he continues on his fast track to "fix" our countries problems. He (meaning Obama) tried to reach out to the GOP but when they didn't climb aboard they missed a train that could not afford to be held at idol! Jack I believe the word bipartisanship will no longer be a part of the political language.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  70. nick in michigan

    it takes two to tango jack, and the republicans dont wana dance.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  71. Dmitry Yankovsky

    Well, one of the few distinctions between the two parties are their economic philosophies. At a time when the economy is the biggest issue facing the nation it is no surprise that there will be little bipartisanship. The republican party was severely weakened after the 2008 elections and any colluding between republicans and democrats could dismantle the republicans entirely. I predict that bipartisanship will be at an all time low during the next four years, just as it was during the 1930's during FDR's first term.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  72. John Johnson

    Are you kidding Jack,the grownups won and the children in
    the house don't play fair.


    April 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  73. Mary Perkins

    Democrats do not want bipartisan politics, they never have. They want their own way, and they want Republicans to back them, so when it blows up in their faces, they can blame the Republicans. There is no bipartisanship, and I do not blame the Republicans for that. Obama spouted about how we need to come together, and he is going baf Pelosi, Reid and Biden, who are leading him around with a nose ring and chain.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  74. Michael W. Dyson

    Bipartianship is another name for "politics as usual". It's like being in the choir and saying we aren't going to sing any more. Political parties use bipartianshipthis to stake out poisitions for themselves and their parties for grabbibg and/or retaining power. Right now the President has that power and if he continues as he's done and is going, it looks as though he and his party will hold on to it . Thus the ramping up of the opposition that want their opportunity to measure and change the White House curtains.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  75. Ruth Owens

    I believe that bipartisanship is when all participants are open and reaching out to the other; it is pathetic to see President Obama doing all he can and meeting with essentially a brick wall from the Republicans.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  76. Tim St. Louis

    Jack, you ask what happened to bipartisanship?
    A porky-bouncing pig from the EIB network said that he wanted it to fail to prove that he loves pork more than any liberal or conservative alive.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  77. SJ

    President Obama's attempts at bipartisanship have failed. Surprise, surprise. The old fools in Washington would support a three year old's political ideas, as long as he was a Republican. As long as there are two separate parties, bipartisanship will never exist.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  78. Andrea

    True bipartisanship requires one to place the good of the nation above party politics. The Republican Party seems increasingly unwilling to do this.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  79. Colleen Brooks, Charlotte, NC

    If republicans were dog food they would take them off the shelf. There just isn't the support by the dwindling republican party. U might have trouble reaching accross the isle when there is no one left to reach. It doesn't matter what the point gap is between Dem's and Repub's. What matters is Obama's high overall rating both @ home and abroad.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  80. Lloyd

    Lloyd, Desert Hot Springs, CA

    Jack, any other country in the world with a two party system lets the party who won run the coutry their way. Just like the Brits do. So, I know he has tried, but the "party of NO" just does not want to help and be included. So, he should give up on bipartisaship and just get this country on the right track, as he has bee doing. He is actually concerned about people, not business so much unlike the Republicans. I fully support him in anything he does. We voted him in for change and that is what he is doing....... changing things.

    Rock on President Obama !!

    April 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  81. Amy Elkridge,MD

    Many median Republicans switched parties this past year... so the fact that more Democrats approve of the job Obama is doing...

    you have to include the Republicans who became Democrats in the last few years...

    do a study like that and I'm sure the numbers will even-out more.

    The Republican Party is made up of what they have left... very right wing people who would disapprove of ANY Democratic President and his policies.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  82. Tanya

    Simple, Jack...right-wing media. The tone of the Right has become increasingly negative towards the Obama administration. Here in my red state, most public venues with a television are tuned into right-wing media channels.

    I find solace in the fact that the number of Americans identifying themselves with the Republican party is decreasing....which explains why, in spite of the large partisan divide, the president's overall approval ratings remain high.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  83. Sean in California

    The door is open, Jack. President Obama has repeated this message over and over again. Unfortunately, and they've said this explicitly (even their 'leader' Rush Limbaugh has said it), the GOP believes that bipartisanship means Democrats bending to their every desire (and sadly, the Democrats have usually complied). Even the latest budget is an example of this...after adding items the Republicans asked for to the budget, the Democrats won ZERO votes of support from said Republicans.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  84. Janeska

    Conservatives and Republicans don't want a Rainbow Coalition of people (meaning diverse cultures and diverse ideas). They fear that. Their fear, in turn, creates mass paranoia, within their 'frantic idealogue' philosophy. In other words, you can't change 'crazy people'. They're way too deep into their unending dsyfunction, to even know they're dsyfunctional. President Obama needs to offer them some medication, a lifetime nap, and then, 'Move On'. The rest of us...we HEAR him.


    April 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  85. Howard 'duke' Holtz of Lakeport California

    The Republicans are simply totally scared of what Democrats will accomplish with Obama, and they are already trying to undermine Obama's efforts in order to create a crack that they can penetrate before 2012.

    The Republicans are not acting in the best interests of the American public, otherwise they would never vote as a group against Obama. I believe the Republican party has a tight choker chain on their membership telling them to do as they say or die politically.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  86. Jim

    Jack; it's plain and simple Republicans don't want it. They're behavior is that of a sore loser that can't believe things are moving forward without them.

    Jim, Sunny California.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  87. Ina Tyler

    What happened to the bipartisanship is the party of no. The republicans are so busy trying to take back power that they can't see the average American is struggling to survive. They are blinded by their own agenda to compromise. They didn't worry about our childrens future when their party leader zapped all the life out of this economy to begin with and continuing to back big business who became greedy. Where were their cries for our childrens future then??

    April 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  88. NYC REPUB, Bx., NY

    Well Jack, as it's been well documented, the GOP wants Obama to fail... Add to that the FOX News channel, and their relentless spin on everything Obama says, it's no wonder the american public who are republican, don't want this President to succeed. The GOP attacks on Obama are like what happened to Bill Clinton times ten!! We who support him must do so in good and bad times......My only joy is that at least 27% of the GOP is being reasonable......

    April 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  89. Katie Gates

    Republicans hate. They think hate will bring them something they want. They are confused. Negativity repells people and possitivity attracts people. Keep up the hate. it might save the world from you.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  90. Dee McDonald

    Obama is a very good talker, but in case you haven't noticed while you worhsip him, he is not honest in his actions. It's easy to play to the camera especially to you Jack. Talk is cheap, and inviting the Republicans over for sports events is not including them in shaping the countires policies.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  91. Dan Coatesville,Pa

    The republicans will have no part of this. They believe is they go agents his agenda that they can use this to get back in the majority. President Obama is looking out for our country and the republicans are looking out for there party nothing. You can also see this on Fox news they spend 24 hours a day seance the President was sworn it trying to discredit him and bring him down. This is a time where they should lay politics to the side and President Obama has gone out of his way to do so but the Republicans can not get past party loyalty!!

    April 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  92. Kevin

    With conservative loonies like Limbaugh and Glenn Beck pushing hard to label Obama as a fascist or a socialist, it's hard for bipartisanship to be accomplished. Unfortunately, people listen to them. It also doesn't help that the Republics in Congress have seemed to agree not to ever vote with the Dems in hopes that if Obama's agenda fails, they can easily argue that they were on the right side of the argument.

    From Jacksonville, Florida

    April 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  93. Egberto Willies

    The poll is misleading. Actually in the Pew poll Obama is one point better than Clinton among Republicans. The big difference us that Obama is extremely popular with Democrats, more so than any other Democrat with Democrats or any other Republican with Republicans. That said, Obama's Republican problem is the FOXNEWS Indoctrination Network. It inhibits Republican independent thinking. I am hoping FOXNEWS will be declared a a clear and present danger.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  94. Nathaniel

    While President Obama has been reaching out to Republicans and there has been some initial support, there is not support for bipartisan from Congress. Pelosi and Reid have no interest in including the Republicans and are attempting to force Obama further to the Left than he wants to go. This was seen in the stimulus bill. As a result, the Rupublicans are taking a position that is created by the actions of PElosi and Reid more so than Obama. The question is what will happen to all of those moderate districts that the democrats picked up from Republicans in the last three elections. Look no further than the former district from the new Senator from NY. In November, she took 65% of that district. In the run off last week, it was too close to call. President Obama needs to rein in his own Party

    April 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  95. Garry Gewant

    Bipartisanship? What's that? Oh yes, that's when the politicians we vote for, work together for what would benifit the country. Obama was elected for his promise of Bipartisanship and cooperation and he has followed through with that promise. But the old proverb rings true... "You need two to tango" and the Republicans seem to want to be wall flowers.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  96. Nancy, Grand Ledge,MI

    It ran into a Republican wall! They decided to stick together as the party of opposition and sink or swim together, all repeating the same talking points, all sticking to the old Reagan rhetoric!! They can't seem to comprehend that their ship has hit an iceberg!!

    April 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  97. Angie-Ohio

    Well for one the repugs won't give his ideas a chance. They can't let go of the past. They rubber stamped everything bush wants and so don't know how to do anything else, like use their brains. So naturally change is out of the question for them . President Obama is trying to reach across the aisle,but everytime he does they stick their foot out to trip him up rather than giving a hand to get out of the mess we are in. So if President Obama moves on without them so be it. Lets just get things done.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  98. Sergio Barron TX

    The idea of bipartisanship has fallen to the fear the Republican party has to Conservatism. To associate themselves in any viable way with a president that is not a republican is to committ political suicide, as far as they're concerned. Better to give into the fear they are so good at creating than to actually get anything done.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  99. Thrash

    What happened to "of the people, by the people, for the people" is what I want to know.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  100. Norm Vezina

    The lack of bipartisanship in the U.S. government can hardly be blamed on one sole political party. If they both wanted to work together by now, then they would have done so. They're encouraging the tearing of the United States into little pieces of Red, White, and Blue.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  101. Ralph Anderson

    Jack, It takes both sides to be Bipartisan. ask the republicans what happened.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  102. Randy in Huntsville,Al.

    Jack, it's not Pres. Obama's fault that bi-partisanship has not happened. How do the republicans feel justified oppossing the Pres. when well over most of the country voted for him to do exactly what he's doing? Again, the Republicans are showing themselves O.O.T.(out of touch).

    April 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  103. Lydia G.

    The Republicans is what happened to the bipartisanship! From the beginning they have tried to thwart , railroad, and block all together the efforts of President Obama. Their agenda is too just make things as difficult as possible because they are bitter.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  104. Nina

    I believe that the uncommonly large bipartisan gap, in spite of Obama's pledge to aim for the opposite, is because Obama is succeeding at unprecedented levels in meeting his campaign promises, and within a short period of time. The world is astounded and inspired by him (and Michelle); and more than 60% of US voters stand behind Obama, in spite of the bad economy. The Republicans have never looked so out-of-the-loop, their counter-arguments are not going over very well, and their egos are in an uproar!

    April 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |

    The Republican party has never believed in bi -par tianship. They
    proved that for the years they were the majority. Even now when we have a President who has done everything he could to reach them they remain adamantly aloof.
    Watch and listen the next time you hear words from a Repub.'s mouth it will be the same old garbage.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  106. Ken

    Pres Obama is partisan and his "outreach" was insincere and all show. The polls represent the fact that people are seeing Obama's marketing approach to politics and actions that don't meet obscure speeches.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  107. Boyd, Wisconsin

    As far as I can see, the Republicans have no interest in anything but having absolute control of the country. During the Clinton administration, the news every day was how they were brutally and relentlessly attacking him at every turn, and now that there is another Democrat in office, their senseless belligerence has resumed. And as we've seen during the past eight years, they have no plan for building a better country for anyone but their big-money interests. They really would rather see the country fail altogether, than the Democrats have any success making life better for the middle class.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  108. Neil Cusati

    Interesting numbers on President Obama approval 's ratings especially given Carter's and Nixon's numbers in their early days. Would suggest one thing driving this partisanship to new levels at such an early stage, would be the ultra partisan Fox News Network which (thankfully) did not exist in previous eras. I guess someone on the other side might argue that CNBC would sway things the other way.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  109. Louis

    It is difficult to have bipartisanship when the republicans refuse to acknowledge the efforts put forth by President Obama to reach across the aisle. The President has extended his hand of fellowship,but out jealousy and ignorance they have refuse.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  110. Mike Bailey

    Jack, with an 88% base approval rating and a 57% of Independents (many of whom used to be republicans) I don't think he has to worry about "bi-partisianship" what did Cheney used to say all you need is 50% plus one he has that and extra he needs to tell the Republicans to sit down and shut up until they have a decent idea other than more tax cuts for the rich, come up with some new ideas and he may get bi-partsianship but if I was President Obama I wouldn't worry about it now, they are the ones without friends, not him.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  111. Danny -- Collinsville, Ok

    As long as we have the unwavering egos of Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner, Harry Reid, and Mitch McConnell in their so-called leadership oositions, we will not get away from partisanship. These folks think they have to be polar opposites on any subject. They live in a cheshire cat world of 'nyah-nyah-na-nyah-nyah', I'll show you! They know not what the term, 'compromise' means...

    April 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  112. Sandra

    All the Republicans I know are poor losers. They somehow want to make you think that the 8 Bush years were great. They have short memories. I think media spin is also responsible. I am thrilled that 53% of us had the courage to elect this dynamic, brilliant, competent man and get Michelle at the same time.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  113. Ondrya in the San Fernando Valley, CA

    Bipartisanship be damned! Everyone should get nervous when both sides of the aisle agree on things. When you think of Bipartisanship, think of Congress giving themselves huge pay raises and refusing to pass campaign finance reforms. As George Carlin once professed, “Bipartisan usually means that a larger-than-usual deception is being carried out.”

    April 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  114. Liz from Tennessee

    Easy, since the Limbaughization of the Republican Party they have forgotten how to play well with others. Maybe they need to be sent back to kindergarten to relearn it.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  115. Patrick

    Obama has always been willing to hear others' ideas and suggestions. The lack of bipartisanship has been due to Republicians lacking new ideas to bring to the conversation. Conservatism in its definition is the resistance to change, and change is exactly what this country wants and continually needs for progression. Bipartisanship will resurface when conservatives get their heads out of the sand of the political positioning game and start to care about people rather than the failed policies that led our country down the wrong path.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  116. Donald W

    The Republicans appear to believe bi-partisanship means you can omly agree with them. Compromise is their way or the highway.. President Obama has bent over backwards to listen to differing opinions, unlike former President Bush. I recall after th "anti-Patriot Act" that it was virtually treasonous to speak against the President. Now the Republican Party appears to have formed a cottage industry aimed at blasing OUR President.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  117. Heather Lowe

    I am writing from Grain Valley, Missouri...although grew-up on the East Coast. My comment: I listened to Newt G. earlier today and I was struck by this thought, "If the Republicans are not AGAINST Pres. Obama, then who are they? It is their only identity." They know in their hearts that cutting taxes and less government won't fix the problems. What else can they BE? Their identity is being AGAINST Obama....hence the gap.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  118. Jim, Honolulu

    As a Republican, I've been horrified at how my party's leaders have chosen to not pull together with the rest of the country at this critical point in history. There is no excuse or forgiveness for their brazen opposition to ANY solutions to our problems. I fear the voters will not forget come the next election.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  119. Angie in NC

    This is why I am registered "unaffiliated"!! I hate being "branded" one way or another...I was a supporter of the Republican party for 20 yrs and voted for Obama. I know that "bipartisanship" will never be possible until we decided to do away with just two parties and open up to the ideas of more parties with moderate opinions! With only two parties running the show, they are never willing to "meet in the middle"....it's always "my way or the highway"!!! We can't ALL be right, so why can't we see the merit in other ideas and come to REAL compromises!

    April 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  120. Alex

    Jack, White supremicy is alive and well in the united States. They just call themselves the Republicans now. It is said that President Obama has united the Republican Party. Any Black President would unite the KKK. The Republicans will not be willing to work with this President because he is not one of them.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  121. Robert, Phoenix AZ

    It was clear early on that, despite President Obama's efforts to create a bipartisan atmosphere, two things got in the way: the Senate and the House of Representatives. Republicans in both houses summarily rejected the President's efforts, and engaged in fierce partisanship from before day-one. The Democrats in both houses (but mostly the House of Representatives) did not help things by being less than inclusive in their efforts to get legislation passed.

    The Republicans are the primary offenders here. They have absolutely no interest in working with the current administration, and every intention to work against the President at every turn. It would seem that they would rather help themselves try to get back into power rather than help this country recover.

    The President would be well within his rights to toss them aside and work only with those interested in helping this country get back on its feet.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  122. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    It went out the window when the Republicans decided to play dog in the manger and vote know on everthing. Bi-partisanship is a two-way street. President Obama can try all he likes, but these sore losers are going to whine and cry and vote no for as long as they don't have the White House.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  123. Marjorie Lominy

    If you look behind the numbers it seems that the divide is with Republicans.They are the ones refusing to give their President the benefit of the the doubt. As a Democrat I can tell you that the door is always open for them. They seem to be the ones refusing to step through it. The f Republican brand is just out of the mainstream. And if they are, why should Obama adjust to them instead of the other way around? What's wrong with governance aimed at independents and Democrats...there are enough of us out there...69.000.000 of us.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  124. Russell

    You ask what has happened to bipartionship, as you make a blatant partison comment as you discuss the approval gap. The media feeds on partisonship, its news, you create partisonship.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  125. Lynda from Miami FL

    From the state where in a prior election, hanging chads were unilaterally available to both partisans – I wonder whether there is a vision of the future that excludes partisanship on behalf of the retirees of this country. Have I misssed something or are just working families targeted for tax relief. What about retirees who are dependent on COLA for increases in "salary?" No soup for us?

    Lynda Sweeting

    April 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  126. Dick Sweterlitsch

    With the Republican party lacking any unified policy - other than "no" - bipartianship is impossible. Maybe tri-, or quad-, or quin-partianship is more realistic.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  127. Ana Mejia

    It is all about the money and the government contracts that is the issue with bipartisanship. It has been a Republican monopoly of doing business. Now that the Republicans got the memo of the issues we face in 2009, the finally realized that it is not about the same beating on the dead horse issues like Abortion and civil unions amont gay people. We the American people have bigger fish to fry right now. And one last point the beef of Israel having nuclear weapons is there, they have been stealing American technology for themselves, a guy here in NY got arrested last year. 9/11 happened because of our Middle East policy favoring Israel when they violet International law. The solution is not war the solution is two state for Palestine. If Israel does not do this then you have Iran making threats and around, around we go, is like the story that never ends. I voted for MacCain because of the principal, I was and always will be for Hillary Clinton, it gives me peace of mind that she is there.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  128. Dee Potter

    I say forget the republicans. They only have two solutions anyway.
    taxes and freeze spending. You have to stop thinking about yourself in order to help others and come up with ideas.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  129. Gerry

    While president Obama has made genuine attempts at true bipartisanship it simply doesn't serve the purpose of the statusquo in congress or in the senate, whom has benefited the most by simply divide and conquer our brief attention to politics.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  130. Nathan Bigelow SLC, UT

    Saying we won when any other idea is presented isn't bi-partisanship. But who cares, the mind is already made up by people like you and others on this board. Just read the comments.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  131. Matt Lord

    Jack, one man can't do it all, it takes boths sides to want to co-operate to end bi-partisonship. The president has reached out to what has become the party of no and has gotten the cold shoulder. It dosen't help his cause to have Nancy Polosi as the speaker of the house as she is nothing but negative. If the deems can get rid of her they have a better chance at the two parties getting along.

    Matt from Cedar Springs, GA

    April 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  132. Dianne

    Just like with everything else when it comes to this President...bipartisonship will take TIME and I have no doubt that after America starts to see things turning around for the better, like our economy, they will perhaps see a glimpse of bipartisonship as well...because all who were against him will want to be on the right side of history!!!

    April 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  133. Marietta

    Do wars keep repubs happy? Who lands all the massive contracts and supplys everything from soup to nuts for the wars?? rich get richer you think? Do rich oil excutives want new energy solutions? hmmm

    April 6, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  134. Margaret Dixon

    I think the news media, especially Fox News and people like Hannity and O Reiley who constantly downgrade everything that the President does and constantly apply false labels like "socialism and keep the republican base fired up and also the Republicans in Congress who negate everything the President tries to do. Whatever happened to the 100 day "grace period" afforded to previous presidents.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  135. Mr. Evans

    The same thing that happened to reconstruction, 1960's civil rights movement, education, healthcare and every social issue outside of the 1% who control the masses: Southern evansgelical, racist corporations, with not a one proven foot of truth to stand on.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  136. Tim St. Louis

    Its only Bipartisanship if the Democrats bow-down to the Republicans.
    Bipartisanship only happens when there is an equal consent to congress receiving a raise, they'll vote for that!

    April 6, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  137. mary max neely

    The repugs are not about to give Mr Obama any rope because they see he is smarter than the average politician; he really has them frightened with his progressive ideas. They can't handle changes with the economy, health care, the green movement, etc. Obama's style is too big of a change for the Grand Old Pitty Party!

    April 6, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  138. peggy wallace

    Who cares what the Repulicans do , think or feel.. The World, the USA and the majority of Democrats are for him and his policies. Let them continue on their skewed partisan way. Let them politically hang themselves.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  139. fedupwithhypocrits

    What happened is the media once again, as they did with Pres. Bush, allowed Republicans to control the message, spread lies about or distort Pres. Obama's policies and Democrats still have not grown a backbone to combat it. If Pres. Obama and Democrats were to come together and use Republican tactics, perhaps that supposed "partisan gap" would not have shown up in that poll. Pres. Obama did, after all, get a good amount of Republican-leaning Independent votes, but I'm sure Republicans have turned some of their minds against him. My concern is the danger the loud-mouth Republicans are putting the president in, with all the racist, gun-loving, homicidal nuts out there.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  140. Sam Bronx, New York

    Obama won. He told the Republicans in Congress that during his meetings with them.
    Pelosi won as well. She has made it clear she does not need to work with the Republicans to get her agenda passed in the House.
    Reid won too. And with the occassional help of a few Republicans he has no need to consider any of the others.

    "Bipartisanship" is not defined as "letting the other party take credit when they go along with your policies".
    As long as Pelosi is the "New Decider" and Obama continues to focus on PR as opposed to leadership, bipartisanship will remain a buzzword to throw about when one party of the other wants to whine about when they feel they are not getting their way and having their whims properly indulged.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  141. wilma sever

    Bipartisanship is diificult for the Republicans to invest in because they are very sore losers. It's not their man in the White House. They can't believe such an eloquent and smart young man like Obama is doing sucha good job. One wonders if the ugly head of racism is part of the problem for Republicans.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  142. Oregon Wally Las Vegas Nevada

    Let's face facts, most of the white republican congressmen, and senators are middle to older age white men and women. There for they grew up with holy er then now and bigot feelings, I blame this to the way they were raised. Until this group is fazes out through old age nothing will completely change,as far as skin color. They refuse to except change, i see thing's changing for the good on this subject but time must run it's course, sad but true. signed a 59 year old white man...

    April 6, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  143. Josh

    The numbers are slightly misleading Jack, sure the gap is 61 points but that's not necessarily Obama's fault. Dems are at 88% and Independents are at 57% while Republicans are down at 27%. Couple that with the rest of the same Pew study which shows party identification for Dems and Independents (both 36%) at all-time high's and Republicans at an all-time low (27%) and the bigger picture comes into focus.

    An ever-shrinking Republican base is still pouting from November while almost 60% (according to Pew) of the general public feels he is doing an excellent job.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  144. Jeanne

    The Republicans are miserable and evil!!! How could that ever work.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  145. karl

    It's simple. The Republican party is so convinced that their ideas are right, that they are unwilling to compromise. They have never, and will neve admit that they have done anything wrong, even though the mess we are in is mainly due to their narrow-minded, short term philosophies.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  146. Julie

    The Republicans may not yet be used to Obama's manner and style. When they begin to witness changes gradually being made, the the Bipartisanship will again strengthen!

    April 6, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  147. mike

    The only time there is bipartisanship is usually during a national crisis. If we're not in one now, I don't know what is. The vast majority of Americans are moderate. It is the politicians that play the partisanship game. The Republicans got trounced in the last election and need to harp on the new president to keep their base happy. The only way for both sides to get along is to work together. It seldom happens. Even if Obama pulls off a miracle in the next few years, it might not be enough to get Republicans in congress to approve unless it means their base is happy and they can get re-elected.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  148. Mark, Toronto

    What took you so long to realise that Obamas efforts at bi-partisanship have failed? He's been in charge for, what? a couple of months. It was obvious after maybe 48 hours. People today seem to want to give things a chance, instead of doing the "right" thing and abandoning worthwhile causes at the first sign of difficulty.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  149. Darren Johnson

    Obama will never get much support from the Republicans, even if he raises taxes on just the top few percent. Taxes have become a knee-jerk issue with Republicans, and seems to be their only concern.

    Darren Johnson
    Fairbanks, Alaska

    April 6, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  150. Robert

    Bipartisanship according to Democrats and you in the press ( one and the same really) is when Republicans give in on their principals and do what democrats want. Look at the last two years, when Bush was President none of you wanted Bipartisanship then you wanted the Democrats to oppose Bush, now that Obama is President you want Republicans to give in on there beliefs because Obama invited them to a party? Cmon that's not how politics works, you know better Jack.
    You all in the media forget that there were 58 million people who voted for John McCain, Obama has done little to nothing to change their mind.
    So Bipartisanship is possible if Republicans are willing to give in on their idea's cause lord knows that no one on the Democratic side is ever willing to give any on what they believe. I hope that Republicans are able to promote conservative solutions to America's problems and get heard over the echo chamber of the media, as you guys will carry this Presidents water, first, last and always.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  151. Constance Swift

    The Republicans are acting like little kids whose toys have been taken away...boo hoo! GROW UP! You lost the election, and will lose more unless you work together with the Dems and President Obama.
    I heard the Republicans are having "tea parties" and starting this 912 Project stuff. If they worked as hard alongside Obama, we would already have health care for all. The Republicans are sore losers!!

    Constance Swift
    Wakefield, RI

    April 6, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  152. Rob

    How could we ever believe that there would be bipartisanship with the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, determined to get there revenge after eight years of Bush. The fact is that we are divided, and many feel that our nation is at a critical ideological juncture in our history. Don't expect it to be bloodless.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  153. Pat, Pa.

    You can never have bipartisanship with republicans. They have only one way of dealing with others and that is " if you don't play the game my way I will take my marbles and go home. " They take their marbles and go home most of the time.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  154. Alex

    Everyone in the world, or at least the United States knows what happened....The childish Republican party has decided to do the opposite of what is good for America and not listen to our new president and his team....All most politicians are worried about is getting reelected, hince the biggest problem our system has...Obama won, let him run things for at least four years, if then things are not better, elect someone else....We are showing the world that just over a half of our country is together, the other half are slowing things down...I would like to have only grown ups running things...While on this subject, term limits would solve most of our problems.....and just covering expenses and not allowing retirement from congress would save tons of money....Serve us don't control us.....

    April 6, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  155. Omar

    Obama has reached out to Republicans allowing them to make huge concessions and provisions in the stimulus package. Making matters worse cable news networks have given republicans a huge bull horn to hard press their opposition to Obama using his policy as the cover, even giving fake GOP heads 90 minutes of uninterrupted air time to attack him. So it’s no wonder why the partisan gap is so high.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  156. George Somi

    Hi Jack,

    Frankly, according to George Washington's model, parties should not have existed. Of course, that would be forgotten as soon as the Father of Our Country would leave office. I think that, if he had been frowning upon his immediate successors, he would outright declare revolution on our government today. It is SO unfortunate that this country has turned from "for the people, by the people" to "for the parties, by the parties."

    I applaud President Obama on trying to bring the parties together, and I loathe the fact that now that the Republicans are the minority party, they are playing the role of victim. Our government should remember that before all else, they are Americans, and that their fellow countrymen put them in office. Isn't it time to represent those countrymen?

    George Somi

    April 6, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  157. Chad from Los Angeles, CA

    Nothing. Republicans are just mad and bitter that their policies have screwed up the country so much, and nobody is listening to them anymore. Once they realize that fighting democrats for no reason is pointless, they will come around.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  158. Glenn from CA

    Jack, Simply put, bipartisanship is being held hostage by the Bush Era Republican Partisans, or BERPs

    April 6, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  159. James Waites

    its simple john. The government is more into itself then it is in the people... At some point you have to stop being a pechulant child and do whats best for the country as a whole. Stop been one sided and see the entire picture. Rep seem to just be nit picking as if to say, we know better or we did it better,and it nor about that. It's about getting things done. bipartisanship?... Seems to have gone the way of the dodo bird. its sad really

    April 6, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  160. Susan S. in Topeka Ks.

    Pres. Obama is much too smart to let the Rep. laissez faire attitude continue. He realizes we must try something to save this country from destruction(i.e. Depression).

    April 6, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  161. Doris/St. Louis

    Bipartisanship is alive and well, however, the Repubs. have opted out.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  162. Alex - Miami, Florida

    Bipartisanship seems to have gone the way of the rest of his campaign promises. He's brought all the same old politicians both from Chicago and the Clinton administration in. He has been as partisan as he was in the senate. I see neither hope nor change in his presidency thus far.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  163. shirley

    Jack it appers to me that the republicans are not going to support or partisapet in any meaningfull way with the oboma administration. They might as wiwell go home and remmove them selves from the payrole. Their bet is if he fails they win, so why should they help him succeed. Phooey on them their abunch of spoild brats.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  164. Maurice - Two Rivers, WI

    We have bipartisanship with the American public for the most part. President Obama has done a great job of reaching out to the United States of America citizens, both Democrats or Republicans and we like it. The problem of bipartisanship that is critical to the future of this country lies only in Washington with our elected congress. These so called elected leaders, both democrats and republicans, are the problem. They could not agree on how to cook eggs for breakfast let alone anything of importance to this country or the world. The only solution is to "never re-elect anyone". This movement cannot start soon enough or we will never recover our freedom.

    Two, Rivers, Wisconsin

    April 6, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  165. HD in Phoenix, AZ

    GOP is what happened to it. They are the biggest bunch of obstructionists around who live by the self serving ideology that it's their way or no way.

    HD in Phoenix, AZ

    April 6, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  166. Lee from Texas

    The Republicans are still fighting tooth and nail to make President Obama look bad. They are not interested in bipartisanship because if Obama succeeds, they lose. They are not interested in the good of the country - only the good of the party. I have been a Republican since 1959 and I am totally disgusted with the rude and malicious way they campaigned and their refusal to cooperate with our President.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  167. Nick in CA

    President Obama was also generous in offering compromise along the lines of tax cuts and other similar concessions to the Republicans. The problem with today's political landscape is that party ideology has become so polarizing and rigid that it trumps any attempts at pragmatic solutions to our common problems. To make everything worse each "side" receives much of their information from highly partisan pundits who have no real political experience and treat politics like a game that their party must "win" at all costs.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  168. Jack

    the republicans have been wrong for the past eight years, and now they see how things can be done in a smart way, with a smart president. the reason the gap is so high is that the republicans cant stand to see a smart man in office.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  169. Nathan Bigelow SLC, UT

    Funny how people are saying the Republicans are hurting the country. What about the Democrats during the last 8 years and their partisan ways. Oh wait that doesn't count because Bush was in office right? Ahh hypocrisy it's fantastic when spouted by those who can't look past their own partisan ways.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  170. Gene in Wisconsin

    The fact that the members of Congress do not act in a bipartisan way is just another indication of their spoiled and over zealous self indulgence, and not doing to do their job in the interest of their constituants, or the country as a whole. After all, the general public has a much higher rating of Pres Obama, and the job he is doing, even though we may still have certain areas of diasagreement. The members of Congress act as though if they don't get their own individual way (i.e. the Republican so called budget which seems to be very non specific), they don't want to play at all, so they vote strictly down party lines, rather than for what is best for the country.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  171. Matthew Williams

    I have a major problem with this poll. I think the answer to why there is such a gap in terms of approval rating is due in a large part to the narrowing of the Republican party. I honesty feel that the way to get a clearer indication of why would be to look at the percentages of people identifying themselves as Republicans. I believe the gap approval has increased because the Republican party has spent the last 20-30 years running off it's moderates. Lets face it the Republican party has become far smaller party that what it was during the 80s or 90s. To be honest whats left of that party wouldn't approve of Obama no matter what he did.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  172. Anne Johnson

    I believe that the Republican party is not the least bit interested in working together for the good of our country, but are trying to make their party look better by constantly disagreeing with our new president.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  173. Omari from Atlanta

    Well Jack I beleive these numbers misrepresent the truth. the truth is that the country has moved to the left and those on the right are holding on to a rigid set of ideological beliefs. The country has moved on and those that think along rigidly set lines of ideology are in direct opposition to everything that the democrats and Obama are doing, hence their leaders constant oppostion to Obama's agenda. If you ask me I beleive the 61 point gap is not representative of a lack of bipartisanship but a growing majority and more extreme right wing.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  174. Barb from Hazel Crest, IL

    There will be no bipartisan as long as you have the old ideology of the Republican Party still serving in congress. They are just as bad as the good old boys club of corporations which refuse to allow new ideas. They will stick to the same old policies. The younger generation must come to the polls constantly to remove the good old boys club from congress. Until then there will be no bipartisan in the near future.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  175. JR

    Given President Obama's 66% overall approval rating, the 27% Republican favorability proves that the party has become a narrow band of old cranks. The math also shows the GOP slowly shrinking to oblivion.

    Bipartisanship will happen. It will involve the Republicans if they wake up and see that the party keeps losing elections, or winning them in a narrower and narrower region. Otherwise, it will happen with the party that replaces the Republicans in opposition.

    I think President Obama should keep trying to reach out, as he has, but not let process control substance.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  176. Thom Richer

    The Republican party will not accept the fact that they were overwhelmingly defeated in the 2008 election. They refuse to admit they chose, knowingly, the wrong person and running mate for their party's candidates. They are simply out to prove the Democrats and those that elected them that they elected the wrong party and will do whatever they can to disrupt the success of Obama and his party just for spite. They are more concerned about having power than the good of working class America. Obama has little or no room for achieving bi-partisanship with the right no matter what he does. Does "sour grapes" come to mind?

    Negaunee, MI

    April 6, 2009 at 4:24 pm |

    The reason for the seeming demise of bipartisanship is a derivative of the Republican party's religious adherence to ideology rather than to national interest. It is however easy through their always simulated righteous indignation to jump in to call into question the patriotism of other citizens who are opposed to their ideological fundamentalism; but would condone the wish of Rush Limbough's desire that the president fails.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  178. Gerry

    Simple Jack, President Obama tried and the GOP said no, unless Obama was prepared to go along with the same old Bush policies that put the country and world economies into the ditch.

    The GOP is no longer relavent, and won’t be again unless they start moving more to the center. In my opinion, they need to go to the wilderness to sort out their policies and if they get lost there and never come back-so much the better.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  179. Jim from Raleigh NC

    Gee Jack, I thought you were an Independent thinker. The Gap is growing because the Independent Party is growing.....what remains of the Grand Ole' Party is a ultra conservative, sometimes radical base that is certainly not in tune with Americans today.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  180. Larry

    Jack, the president should move forward with the people's agenda. He won a clear mandate in November. Therefore, he should not let a few hot headed republicans stand in the way of progress. We voted for real change and that's what we want. We're the only industrial nation without a nation healthcare plan. We want change and we want it now. President Obama wants the republicans to join in the progress. However, they do not want any real change. I say we must move forward without them.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  181. Emerson in Mass.

    Look at how many responses to this question, and others, blame "the Republicans" for whatever evil you are discussing. In fact, each side has become accustomed to glaring at, and blaming, the other. For starters, Mr. Obama needs to explain "bipartisan" to both sides in Congress.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  182. NYC REPUB, Bx., NY

    The GOP want to kill the baby, while it's still in the crib...... they don't support anything Obama is trying to do.... I hope the average citizen takes time to listen for themselves, instead of listening to Hannity, Huckabee,and Beck, spin tactics....(really thank God for CNN), they would see that this President genuinely cares about the people of the U.S.A.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  183. James in Trubble Again

    Jack it takes two, both sides have to want to! The Rep. care more about their party than what is good for USA. The Rep. party think Rush Limballs is a good role model and most agree with him in saying that he hopes Obama fails. This Country will sink or swim with Obama we need everybody to rally around our elected oficials so they can do their part to repair the death blow the Rep. gave this Country. I ask you Jack does anybody realy trust the Rep. any more?

    April 6, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  184. Chad from Iowa

    You can't have bi-partisanship with a political party of which the base is so set in their idealogy that some of them can't actually see what is right. These people are the infamous 5 to 8% that are the foundation of the problem that exists today.This 5 to 8% exist in every country around the world. The far right is our 5 to 8%.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  185. Jeff Crocket

    The Democrats and most media – you Jack – think the start place for bi-partisanship starts on the left, and ends on the left! That Republicans must bow down to the other side! It is a lie and dead wrong to believe this mush!

    Jeff in New Britain, CT

    April 6, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  186. Gary Moscalink

    I feel it's race, the republicans are stuck in the past and it kills them to think that they serve under a black man,period

    April 6, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  187. Jimmy

    It's a very simple answer. The Republican Party is running for the next election instead of trying to help America get back on its feet. They are trying to undermine President Obama in any way they can so that they can at least look like they are unified and that they have better answers for America. Sorry, we already had eight years of that. Republicans need to stand behind President Obama and stop getting in his way. Let his policies succeed or fail before you judge his presidency. Republicans like power and they don't have it now, so they are folding their arms and not participating in exercising bipartisanship.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  188. Kat

    Bipartisanship is only possible when both sides reach across the aisle. The GOP's self-appointed leader, Rush Limbaugh, has made it clear that their only interest is in seeing Obama fail. Isn't it ironic...the party that claims to be uber-Patriotic and pro-American...wants to see us fail so they have a chance to win in the next round of elections. We shouldn't be surprised, Republicans have spent the past eight years making it crystal clear that the only people they care about are rich, white and evangelical.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  189. Chris Caffrey

    It all comes down to preservation of self instead of preservation of society abroad. My personal opinion is. There is no such thing as a democrat or a republican.

    There is only the people that wish to get things done that would be right for society as a whole and the people that are too ignorant to see what actually needs to be done.

    In that respect, Obama has his bipartisan coalition. Many have dropped their "Republican" or "Democrat" tag and simply became people. The fact that he was able to do that, shows he will be a leader unlike any other we have had before.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  190. Christian in Miami

    Just because President Obama decides to invite some Republicans over for a couple of parties doesn't show that he really wants to incorporate Republican ideas into law, its not about convincing the GOP to go along with Liberals, its about all of them working together on what all the American people want, not just what Liberal Americans want. The President shouldn't stop trying to work with Conservatives, if he quits on the idea of bi-partisanship now, he won't succeed like most Americans want him to.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  191. Sean

    Pew also shows that the number of people identifying themselves as Republicans has dropped to 27%. 37 if you count independent leaners. Meanwhile Democrats have risen from previous lows to 36%, and 51% if you count independent leaners. People are leaving the Republican party to be Democrats or independents. Of course those who stay behind will be more partisan, distorting the numbers.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  192. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    The "stubborn pig-headed I'm not going to work with any Democrat Republicans" is what happened to the idea of bipartisanship! The Grand Obstructionist Party will continue to put every roadblock in the presidents way so they can whine about him not wanting to work across party lines! They will NEVER CHANGE Jack. We all know that!

    April 6, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  193. william chaney

    jack,bipartisanship is almost a must for this country to function and grow as it should but will never happen as long as the elected officials on capitol hill do nothing but fight like two year old kids.as toby keith says im an ANGRY AMERICAN!! THANK YOU!!

    April 6, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  194. Willie P. form Rio Rancho, Nm

    The republicans are slowly,but surely, starting to remind me of bigots.
    Bigots are blind to the achievements and efforts of anyone else they deem to be "not of their kind"....Be it intellectually,philosophical , spiritual
    or demographic.
    Why did they refuse to pay this much attention and produce creative and positive solutions to our country's severe problems, when they were running the administration?
    As so-called Christians, they have forgotten to," keep silent if you have nothing constructive to say"!

    April 6, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  195. Heath

    Obama made every democrat happy and is making the republicans smell tax and spend on the breeze. To have bipartisanship you need to be able to evaluate ideas on their merit and pause from worrying about where they come from. The republicans will only look for flaws and throw out whole proposals based on nit-picking details which should be the foundation a reality-based opposition. Obama echoes the sentiments of many people, mostly democrats, and therefore hurts compromises because the republicans want him to fail, and fast.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  196. Chauncey Williams

    The reason for the big gap is so obvious. Until the 1980's the Republican party was not dominated by radical evangelicals and gun toting misinformed people driven by fear. As these segments increased in size, the difference between them and informed rational people had to become more distinct.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  197. Tony IL

    What kind of question is that? I knew that bipartisanship wouldn't happen. GOP has become the party of "No" and arguing that their ideas are better then their democrat counterparts. Let's not mention that the GOP got a big can of whoop ass laid on them in November. So, instead of trying to work with the President and the democrats, they are acting like wounded animals backed into a corner.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  198. Richard New Hampshire

    The citizens of the US are getting more polarized.Everyone has an opinion on everything.Take me for instance.No way I can be wrong.
    Politicians have to please thier constituents or they are down the road.
    So long bipartisanship.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  199. Emmanuel

    88% Democrats?
    27% republicans?
    Don't forget, overwelming republicans believed Saddam Hussein attacked and destroyed World Trade Center.
    I won't be surprise if majority of republicans believe that Jesus Christ was crucified by Democrats.

    Emmanuel of Yonkers NY

    April 6, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  200. john christopher

    This is what happens when 21st century ideas like: "Look we are all in this together", clash with 19th century ideas like: "We can do what ever we want."

    Republicans cannot handle forward-thinking people like: John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. or Barack Obama. These people threaten the sensibilities of group-think automatons whose thinking has not advanced with all the changes of our day and age.

    Obama's thinking is truly revolutionary. His opposition, collectively, doesn't seem to have the brains of a newt.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  201. Keith

    I believe that Bipartisanship is not the issue...I think the bigger problem is the RACE issue & people are using bipartisanship as a cover or excuse to hide that they can't still accept a BLACK MAN as President. Look at states like Arkansas, Louisiana, Montanta, in which they elected democractic senators & congressman but yet chose McCain as the President. RACE unfortunately is still a major issue in this country!!!!! Besides the WORLD shows more love to OBAMA than people in our on country!!!! Really SAD!!!!

    April 6, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  202. Bertha

    President Obama has just spent these past days delivering the message to other countries of working together for the benefit of all people and the planet. This is certainly also his message for his own country. As an Independent, I have seen that the vast majority of Republicans are doing everything they can to fight the President at every turn. Republicans are only concerned about elections. The last eight years didn't indicate Republican concern about the American people, and now their lack of concern and their own personal agendas are even more evident. I'll never vote for any Republican again...no matter who it is.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  203. Lee in Delaware

    President Obama himself said at one point that if he watched Fox News all the time, even he wouldn't like himself that much. Since Republicans, especially conservatives, watch Fox News exclusively and actually are gullible enough to believe that it is "fair and balanced," President Obama doesn't have much of a chance of ever getting their support. Oh, and the Republicans in Congress know that if they work with the President those same conservative extremists will get their revenge at election time.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  204. Mathew

    President Obama has tried but the republicans have their egos and greed so high up they're only willing to cooperate under their terms. Republicans are scared that Obama is too much for change and spreading the wealth with also high taxes on the wealthy that when all these republicans finish their terms, there will be nothing helping benefit them. Republicans just have not shown any faith in the Democrats. I'm neither affiliated with any party but even I have to believe in him. Oh and one last thing. Rush Limbaugh is a traitor to this country. If your hoping for your president to fail, your hoping that your country fails. please air.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  205. Jake, New Jersey

    Obama has offered plenty of olive branches to the Republicans only to be met with whining and pouting that they won't play unless they get the whole tree. He tried, they failed. The obstructionists blew their (many) chances to be relevant. Leave them behind. They'll not be missed.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  206. Karl from SF, CA

    Jack, BI partisan means two parties. We only have one, the Democrats. Then there is the organization formerly called the Republican Party which without leadership and direction has fallen into insignificance and is now the Party of No. The new Post-partisan brand of politics is not in the realm of understanding to those of the No Party and until they realize they are on the losing end of the bargain, they will continue in their lost voyage. In other words, even the concept of this poll at this time was ridiculous.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  207. Eric

    the idea of bi-partisanship in washington is like a newly reformed alcoholic, they may have the best intentions but if they are offered a bottle they just might take it. senators are deeply trenched in on how they do business and any change to how business is done will take far longer than the first 100 days of office for the way govt. works (if it truly happens at all)

    April 6, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  208. James


    Bipartisanship went out the window when your liberal goons in the house are telling the conservatives goons that it is our way or the high way. How can anyone work with people who do not care about anything but their own power hungery agenda and telling you that your vote doesn't matter. Oh wait the nation does that to the west coast all the time. Your vote doesn't matter. Congress does not care about America. They only care about there own pocket books and how to add more dollars to them. The liberal left is leading the charge of big buisness bail out have proved that. Big buisness and big government, welcome to the nazi generation. If the liberal bigot machine won both sides of the house we would be in worse shape then we are in.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  209. George Livingston

    Too many members of Congress own more allegiance th their own political party than they do to the US. "Toe the Party Line and Sing the Party Song". If they don't, there will be very limited, or no party 'money' and 'muscle' toward their own next election. That's the reason for no or very little bipartisanship. Sold America and their 'political soul' for a hand full of 'silver'. Much to the detriment of this country.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  210. Dennis Kemper

    How will we ever achieve bipartisanship with all the vile hatred spewing from talk radio extremists preaching to a gullible public. It is probably a good bet that race and the Republican Southern Strategy is playing a significant role as well in preventing bipartisanship from being realized.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  211. mike Reno NV

    The only time there is bipartisanship is usually during a national crisis. If we’re not in one now, I don’t know what is. The vast majority of Americans are moderate. It is the politicians that play the partisanship game. The Republicans got trounced in the last election and need to harp on the new president to keep their base happy. The only way for both sides to get along is to work together. It seldom happens. Even if Obama pulls off a miracle in the next few years, it might not be enough to get Republicans in congress to approve unless it means their base is happy and they can get re-elected. Here in NV we probably have the highest enemployment and foreclosure rate in the country. They better do something. Aere you listening Harry Reid and John Ensign?

    April 6, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  212. Dan Johnston, Tulsa Okla.

    I happened to be flipping through channels and heard your comments this afternoon on bipartisanship. Are you supposed to be a newsman or commentator? Your snide comments that immediatly told me your a bleeding heart liberal pro Obama man. The Democrats have ram rodded every bit of their liberal agenda down the Republican's throats without having a say in conference at all.
    I don't understand how someone can shove a Socialist agenda to the American people and expect bipartisanship. Someone needs to step-up, and I wish it would be the liberal biased media in America reporting more of what is actually going on and not your own agenda.
    Lets talk about Dodd and Frank shoving the stimulus out there with one day to read a 600 page document. Then vote on bonuses to AIG and when there is a backlash act like they knew nothing about it and your network going along with it.
    Lets talk about the President of the United States bowing to a Saudi King and CNN barely mentioning it. When does America have to be subservient to any county. Oh thats right we are arrogant! Obama said so on the teleprompter.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  213. Kevin in CA

    Bipartisanship is a conceptual anathema in politics.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  214. wendyharp

    Inviting people over for coffee, the superbowl, etc., is NOT bipartisan-ship. It's common decency. True bipartisanship, requires open-minds. It looks at all ideas equally, and judges them upon their merit. This is NOT what this president implemented when he came into office. He is more of the same, just from a different idealogy. He, basically, came into office and allowed the leaders of his party to run roughshod over the other party, without injecting himself into the process. Then he rubber-stamped what they passed.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  215. Conor in Chicago

    Bipartisanship does not benefit either party. While we squabble over the dumb stuff the Political Corporation continues its tyranny on the American people.

    When people realize that they are the same party and that their seemingly endless disagreeing is all a ruse to remain in power and not let the average American do the right thing in the corridors of power maybe we will be a better country.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  216. Melinda

    bipartisanship failed when Republicans decided that it would be polically more beneficial to oppose Obamas initiatives than to work with him. How can you be an opposition party if you agree with your opposition? Who would vote for anybody who behaved like a right wing of the Democratic Party? Obama might just as well push thru his initiatives by himself, he will get no help, support, and little agreement from Republicans.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  217. Lou, Vancouver

    What happened to Bipartisanship...? Limbaugh, Rove and Fox News happened to Bipartisanship. They have adopted a "Scortched Earth" policy towards the Democrats: They hope that Obama/America fail so that they can take it over in the next election. I only hope they do not take the Scortched Earth policy to the next level... directly sabotaging or actively causing Obama, America and its Economy to fail. If they do, these people need to be put away as traitors to the American people.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  218. Marie

    After the failed Bush presidency, there are fewer registered Republicans and fewer Republicans in the Congress. Those left are the most partisan, and they are the least likely to support any Democratic president.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  219. xddy4u

    I'm glad Obama is pulling this thing out without the help of the REP Senators, although he leaned over backward to get them aboard. When 2010 come around, and the Economy is booming, and it will. What are these REP Senators going to tell the American people? That they fought against Obama's Recovery Plan, and he prevailed in spite of their opposition? Bipartitionship is good when it's helping the Country move forward, but it's a hinder when it's a stick in the spokes.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  220. Chris from NY

    It died the day the Republicans decided they would not support this President in any of his endeavours. They couldn't catch the guy in bed with another woman as they did with Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. So they decided to block every effort of President Obama. That's the Republicans M.O. Block every effort of any DEmocratic President whether it has merits or not.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  221. Liz - Winter Haven, Florida

    What happened? Roe v Wade, the Christian right, 20,000,000 people who hang on Rush Limbaugh's every word, the right wingers who think a cluster of cells have all the rights that you and I have. And then there is the other side, the people who were able to see through Bush and his henchmen, who knew "enhancenced interrogation" translated to torture. Who knew the invasion of Iraq was just wrong. The only time this country has been more divided was 1861.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  222. Gary Kanew

    It's obvious that the Republicans see Obama as a Rock Star
    who must be sabotaged. If they choose bipartisanship they will be endorsing the Rock Star and they will become even more irrelevant than they already are and be out of power for at least a generation.. it's sad but true.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  223. Ken

    Gee Jack, I thought bipartisanship meant to incorporate ideas from both parties. But now I realize what Obama meant by change . He changed the definition of bipartisanship to mean ask the opposition what they would do and ignore it completely. It 's getting hard to keep up with all the change.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  224. Phil P. in NJ

    President Obama has extended his hand to the Republicans, but all the Republicans can say is just no. President Obama has asked the Republicans for more positive imput. The Republicans again just say no. The Republicans are the party of "no". I have'nt heard politicians say no this much since Nancy Reagan's just say no to drugs program, and we all know how that turned out.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  225. john ... marlton nj

    Obama is an extremist and by definition they (extremists) can't be bipartisan... that and $3.7 trillion other reasons....

    April 6, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  226. Gary Moscalink

    Money, that's the reason ,they make less with a dem. in office. They can care less about a person like me who only makes seven thousand a year! It's really starting to get old.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  227. Bill

    There cannot be bipartisanship when our President is pushing socialism.

    He wont take TARP money back, he is pushing for wage control, and he is stealing power of free enterprise left and right.

    There cant be any middle ground here. You either think the Government is more talented than private industry or you dont.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  228. Elias Vernikos

    Bipartisanship requires two parties. Where is the Republican party?

    April 6, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  229. scott hendry

    Bipartiniship is like bisexuality, not that it's good, bad or indifferent;
    just that few practice the art.
    Scott H, clearwater, fla.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  230. Jaycie, Los Angeles

    Republican bipartisinship??? You're kiddning, right? Haven't you figured out by now that the only thing the neo neocons care about is power; getting it and keeping it, and they will do or say ANYTHING to that end. Have you read the foundation statement of PNAC which has now morphed into a different name, same old screed? If you want to really scare yourself, google it out! World domination is the neocon aim and they will settle fort nothing less, even if it kills us all in the effort. They don't know nuthin' bout no stinkin' bipartisinship, don't want to know and don't care!

    April 6, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  231. MuskokaGord

    The Obama administration has tried and continues to invite Republicans to participate, but they refuse, they refuse to vote or even seriously participate in governing the country. The Republicans are constantly carrying on a campaign of criticism and obstructionism in hopes to divide the country and score cheap political points. They are being assisted by corporate media who continues to try and polarize the country by giving far too much airtime to Republican commentators and legislators without holding them accountable for their lack of effort and obstructive tactics. Nice work... the election is over, the people will insist on being served by media and politicians who are honest and trying to get through this devastating economic crisis..this is not a time for the games of campaigning.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  232. Ed Woodbridge,Va.

    Obama,Reid,Pelosi,Frank,the Democratic majority in the House,the Democratic majority in the Senate,Henry Waxman, Charles Schumer,Dick Durbin, and many more like them should be asked the same question! The people listed above would not know bipartisanship if they tripped over it!


    April 6, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  233. Ken in NC

    I saw a comment about Republicans being the party of "NO" because they do not want to see a Black Man make it as President. I cannot believe this is true because that would mean that Republicans are racist and we all know that racism does not exist anymore. "Ya Think"?

    April 6, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  234. Bob

    Bipartisanship is an idea that the Republicans will never allow to become a reality. It isn't in their game plan, never was and never will be.

    Louisville, Ky

    April 6, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  235. Kim - Blair, NE

    2 names. Rush Limbaugh & Glenn Beck.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  236. AndyZ Lynn, MA

    The Republican "knuckle-draggers" refuse to acknowledge they have lost the previous election and if they can't be number 1 they will do anything and everything possible undermine the new president.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  237. Marion

    The idea is not dead. It simply isn't in the Republicans' self-interests for bipartisanship to succeed. They have to fight any perception that this young president is actually succeeding at all costs or risk being irrelevant for the next few centuries, once people learn how things can be done differently than descendants of the old Confederacy would have our country run. I am encouraged by the more statesman-like analysis of Ed Rawlings as opposed to the egomaniacal rantings and ravings of Newt Gingrich, Mary Matalin, and many of the other so-called Republican "analysts" seen on CNN programs.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  238. Elias

    Bipartisanship requires two parties. Where is the Republican party?

    Winter Springs, Florida

    April 6, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  239. Paul H.

    There will never be bipartisanship inWashington as long as we have so many in congress that beleive in the idea of the have and the have nots. I can't understand why they continue to push the policies that got the country and the world in the fix that it is in today. If they would just try to think for just one minute and look back on our history instead of their bigoted ideas, they would discover that American and the world economies perform better when the masses of the population do well.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  240. Melissa

    Its just an idea as long as the Republicans aren't willing to actually work with anyone. All the Republicans want is to keep going in the exact same way they always have. They don't want change. Its not Obamas fault that Republicans have such a difficult time changing their tune.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  241. B A Newby

    Bi partician politics does not exist among the persons elected to represent the citizens of the U.S. These politicians place party loyality and blindness before the basic premisis of doing what is right for the citizens and the country. We have seen it time and time again i.e. the 'gOP pursuit of President Clinton, the Dems wanting to go after President Bush and now against President Obama.

    It is clear to me that President Obama is trying to get our representatives off their political butts and do their jobs. The commitement to party positions should be trumped by the needs of the country and citizens.


    April 6, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  242. Jack Dempsey

    Jack,The Republican Party is a mess. Their only hope is for the President and the Nation to fail! It's awful that one of the two major political parties has come to this. Unless they bring real change to the party that reasonable people can believe in there will never be bipartisonship and the president shouldn't waist his time on them. Jack From Nice, Ca.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  243. LUMP

    President Obama's a Black man and that's the problem. Home is where the hatred is; here in America. Everyone around the world recognizes that he's special. Work with US. Or would you rather have someone in office to have a beer with. He's doing his job; doing it, doing it and doing it well.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  244. Maureen, Georgia

    The republicans doesn't want bi-partisanship, because Pres. Obama has tried everything he could to get bi-partisanship & wasn't successful. The republicans will never agree with anything Pres. Obama does for the country even though they might know it's the right thing, they want the president to fail & it doesn't matter that it means the country will fail & most of us will suffer.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  245. George in Athens, GA

    Asking for "bipartisanship" is a nice way of saying one political party should stop believing what they believe and start supporting policies that contradict their principles. Why isn't Obama "bipartisan" and supporting the principles and policies of the Republicans?

    April 6, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  246. JIm

    Two parties working together just like two heads are better than one. Bipartisanship should be productive and is more likely to produce the best solution for both red and blue state citizens. Productivity and approval, however, bodes better for the party in office which can be easily converted to re-election votes. Unfortunately, the desire to horde money and power is greater that the noble desire to make our country better.

    Warren Ohio

    April 6, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  247. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Hi Jack,

    allow me to be cynical and yet practical! Bipartisanship is an excellent way to get government work showing its good intentions, practical and responsible actions... that is the whole idea of bipartisanhip! But...what can we expect for such idea to be successful if others do not get it! When others can not figure out how excellent government would work by showing such good intentions, practical and responsible actions as a government working for all people! Then, you keep moving on, as a government and work your ass off by showing how you have good intentions, how your government is practical and puts forward responsible actions for all its people!!! Just my own cynical and practical way to express how for bipartisanship to actually take life...well it takes two to tango!

    April 6, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  248. Dan

    Jack. Bipartisanship is like little kids in school playing with musical chairs. Did you ever see one of them give up a position for the other kid in the class? Don’t you find it the same with politics? I lost and I will go home and make fun of the other guy. Why should we all get on the same page and make it work when we can keep complaining and wish that all of our lives suck? Partinsaship is much more destructive and keeps everyone off balance. Why should America work together when so many are caught up in, I got more toys then you do and I aint given them up…. Oh Ya. I forgot, you worked for me and I got all my toys from your blood sweat and tears…. Signed, the American Worker…..P. S. Bipartinsaship would call for a country of adults, no matter what their pay looks like. I am sure you will find that 8 to 9 Americans out of 10 will wish to get on board. Now what about the other 10 to 20 percent. God Bless you if you can get them to come down to earth and care for others. Oh yes again. That would be that we are on the same page,,,, Bipartisanship….

    April 6, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  249. Spencer From Ocean Isle NC

    Bipartisanship went out the window On January 23rd, which is a total shame for this entire country. What did the Who's Who of the GOP party say? "We want him to fail"
    It is repeated in every poll. The republicans would rather see the country go down the toilet and not recover from 8 years of a incompetent man in the White House then to see this articulate, intelligent, well liked man,both in this country and now abroad.... succeed.
    Special interest groups, corporations and Wall street got us into this mess and ever since the polices of the past 8 years have been exposed they want to make President Obama the scapegoat.
    It really is a shame that the GOP thinks the American people are
    that gullible

    April 6, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  250. Bob Montague

    The GOP cannot afford to work with this guy. He's too smart for them and they need to keep pushing their agenda on FOX news every minute of the day. I have seen Rudy on FOX more this weekend than I did when he was running. Scaring looking man.

    Wichita KS

    April 6, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  251. Jacob Slaby

    Partisanship has become more powerful than responsible government. Many of our politicians are more concerned with doing what is best for their party as opposed as to what is best for our country. By working with President Obama, a republican angers their base and lessens their chance of reelection. When Joe Lieberman supported John McCain, he did exactly what he was supposed to do as a Senator and elected official. He felt that McCain was the best choice for America and went against his party. He spoke his mind freely and based his support on his own convictions. He was looked at as a traitor by fellow democrats. Politicians want to solve America's problems only if the ideas and legislation come from their own party. Why fix America if you're not going to get credit for it?

    April 6, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  252. Rae from Indiana

    Both parties have to want it. The Republicans do not and have said so. For some reason they think that they can point out the fact there is no bipartisanship and blame it on President Obama while reminding us that it was one of his campaign promises. Unfortunately he underestimated their childishness.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  253. Suzan

    We have to be careful with numbers and comparisons. The Republican party of today is different. It has lost a lot of its moderate members, in Congress and in the population. What's remaining is the hard core conservative base whose ideologies of trickle-down economics and authoritarian foreign policiy are totally at odds with what President Obama is proposing to put the country back on track.

    The President knows that big changes are necessary and fortunately, a majority of the population is behind him.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  254. Ray Kinserlow

    The idea of bipartisanship is not sloppy hugs and total agreement. It is the agreement of the party in power and the loyal opposition to work together. I tolerated W. without having a nervous breakdown while vehemently disagreeing with him and his cohorts.

    Ray Kinserlow
    Lubbock, Texas

    April 6, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  255. Randy

    Dear Jack.
    There is nothing wrong with bipartisanship. It is the selfish ingrates
    in the republican party espousing vitriolicism that are doing great
    harm to the president and to the policies that he is trying to
    implement. The House and Senate minority leaders ought to a long
    walk off of a short bridge with all of their cronies..


    April 6, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  256. Lil from TN

    I don't know whether bipartisanship is possible or not. I'd like to think it is, but so far, all the Republicans have done is criticize President Obama's ideas. In Tennessee, so many people are Republican, and sometimes I feel like their world view is totally the opposite of mine. It's hard to remember a time (although I'm sure it must have existed!) when both parties set their differences aside and, in a spirit of cooperation and compromise, managed to come up with legislation that satisfied both themselves and the majority of the electorate.

    I guess the short answer is that until the Republican party becomes more mainstream and represents more of the people, there won't be any bipartisanship, unless the Democrats want to cave.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  257. denise atl ga.

    Hey jack the gop need to go to
    a time out corner for about 20yrs
    and think about the mess they got us in. then try to make a come back. because right now
    we dont need a party of no and
    that is what they are. I do not like nothing about them at all because they do not care about the little folks only big cats. ps GOP GO AWAY.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  258. Dennis

    Does no one realize that when you only blame the right for all of this partisan politics your simply being partisan yourself? the two party system is broken and in itself almost a slight on Democracy. How can you be democratic when only two opposing parties are at your disposal. Expect things to get worse before they get better because until these adult children learn to work together for the common good of America and not there special interests, o yes both sides have plenty of pork on there side, nothing will ever change and things will only become more and more partisan.

    and for every person who blames racism, your only part of the problem not the solution.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  259. Ruben from Oregon

    Bipartisanship was resolved by the election. Moderate Republicans either chose a Democrat or did not vote. The only GOP members left are "hard right" representatives. They think have to say NO to keep their jobs.

    What were the numbers (not the %) in the poll? I suspect the actual numbers were the same as former polls. I also suspect that there are many people who are now x-republicans.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  260. Roy-Chicago

    Bi-partisanship is dissolving because the remaining Republicans see that Obama's approval rating is so high, they are making an obvious and concerted effort to bring it down no matter what, and even if the country comes down with it. Obama DOES solicit ideas from all sides, he offerred to appoint Republicans to high positions, they turned him down. Democrats are not perfect......but they sure are not acting like THIS!! Shame on the Republicans......the idea of working together has fallen to the 'me first' mentality of the GOP.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  261. Jack - Lancaster, OH

    Mr. Cafferty:

    I am learning alot about government via Cnn, the media and etc. It seems to me that bi-partisanship, the way "partisanship" is conducted here, is not a good thing. Is it not like two gangs fighting each other over your "protection", and not in a good way ?

    Thanks but I would like to see some give and take.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  262. Erik from Golden, Colorado

    Ask the Republicans where it went. They're the ones who are wanting to "see him fail" and keep throwing roadblocks. Obama and the Democrats are trying to be more bipartisan, but it's the dead and/or dying GOP that continues to cling to their notion of US against THEM.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  263. Allen, Hartwell GA

    Jack, I haven't read any of the other 220 comments at this point, but I'd be willing to bet that the majority go something like this: "the Republican Party has "swiftboated" Obama with the party loyalists". Look at what they are saying at federal and state levels. Look at what you hear on AM radio. The GOP loyalists are determined to damn Obama for no other reason then that he won the election.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  264. Anna

    Republican party is like Soviet Union Comuist party at the end if their existence. Leaders got old and could not keep people under control and new leaders did not have conviction in party views.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  265. David G. Terpenning

    Well, bipartisanship has disappeared, due to the fact that the Republicans are so upset by losing the last election, that they have become extremely negative.

    It would be nice if they would grow up and act like adults, and work for the betterment of the country.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  266. Pete

    Don in Naples.

    Let me see if I follow you. Obama is not following "old ideas" because he's not walking lockstep with a Republican platform that hasn't changed one iota in 30 years??

    By the by, the "bipartisan" Republicans are threatening to filibuster Obama appointments to the Justice Department if Obama makes good on his promise to declassify and release memos from the Bush years detailing how the previous administration authorized the use of torture.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  267. Richard O

    Repulicans are the most unpatriotic, bitter, angry, divisive bunch I have ever seen in my life. After eight years of failed policy that drove this country off the cliff, all I hear from these buffons is the same old useless, and mis-guided argument about tax-cut for the rich, and arrogance about who is patrotic or not.
    Republicans would rather see this country they say they love so much fail for their own political gains, than to work with our President.
    Just listen to them, they are jealous out of ideas!

    April 6, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  268. Mick

    It is simple. It is not Republican and Democrat. It is Conservative and Liberal. The Republican's represent Captilism. The Liberals represent Socialism. If you want Socialism...move to Europe. This is the United States of America and THANK-GOD THE REPUBLICANS ARE STANDING UP TO THIS ARROGANT MAN AND HIS HIPPIE LOVING FREAK SHOW!!!

    April 6, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  269. Sandy in Arkansas

    What happened to the idea of bi-partisanship? Politics, rhetoric, power struggles, personalities, greed, corruption, gamesmanship, and a complete abscense of the ability to cooperate and compromise for the good of all. In everything it is the prevailing me, me, me...never what is good for us as a whole, as a country, or as a world.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  270. Jackie in Dallas

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Bipartisanship, by definition, requires the support of both parties. The GOP, or the party of “no”, is not interested in bipartisanship. The GOP has instead chosen rhetoric and negativism, rather than truly trying to work with their Democratic fellow Congress counterparts. Like the budget…where is their much ballyhooed response? 19 pages with no numbers is NOT a serious budget alternative!

    I think President Obama would still like to create a true bipartisan Congress, but it is going to take at least one more wake-up call at the polls for the GOP to understand that failed policies of the past 30 years are not the answer — change and compromise are.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  271. Kevin, Chester Springs PA

    Republicans have just not gotten the message. They believe they're still in control and will not accept any other alternative so they're living in their own alternative reality. They are living in Reagan's 1980s and the Republican revolution of 1994. The country — and the world — is changing. The party of "no" simply ain't working.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  272. Don in Grand Rapids, Mi

    The Liberal translation of "Bipartisanship" is....We won, do it our way or hit the Belt Way!

    April 6, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  273. steve in florida

    I don't know if bi-partisanship can ever be truly accomplished, but I do know that you can't get there by operating in campaign mode all day, everyday, or by constantly looking for weakness in others instead of strengths. At some point the swords have to be sheathed and an actual discussion take place between Americans, not Republicans and Democrats, in real time, based on the year 2009, not 2010 or beyond. On that point I think Obama is sincere, but it take two to Tango.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  274. Vi

    Get over the loss Republicans – I'm an independent and feel that no matter who became President we have to get behind him for our country. People our getting sick and tired of the way you folks bicker and try and get even with the opposite party that won. Let's get it together and work for our country and all the people in our country not just your party and yourself.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  275. Chris

    Jack, Republicans don't approve of him because they don't like him, in every conceivable sense. It's as simple as that. Another reason is that Obama seems to be living up to most of his promises, and the republicans would love him to break his promises, just to find something to jump on. Think about it, so many democrats and independents highly approve of Obama, but the republicans don't. It obviously partisan. Either that, or they actually miss W.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  276. Dave

    The major news networks never used to scrutinize the president everyday and point out the bloopers and blunders. I think it used to be weeks before the prez made the news. Now everything is under a microscope every day and when the opposing party gets riled up, the press loves it. It's not ALL the fault of the opposing party.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  277. Greg

    I don't know about other parts of the country, but the lack of bipartisanship by Southern Republicans can be easily explained. Obama did not carry their home states in the Presidential election and they actually GAIN support at home among rural whites by opposing an intelligent, erudite black man. Whatever he may be proposing isn't really the issue. He is still black, and the Republican senators don't have to mention it.


    April 6, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  278. Sean

    Obviously it has nothing to do with President Obama or the people in Congress. They're just behaving much like their constituents if the comments to your question are any indication.

    Everyone wants to play the blame game, and they're 100% certain they are right and the other side is wrong. Here, obviously, everyone thinks Obama has done no wrong and Republicans are simply evil.

    April 6, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  279. Scott

    Wow Jenny from Nantucket.
    Like his policies or not, let's be honest, Obama has been anything but "bi-partisan" instead saying, "we won, deal with it." His idea of "bi-partisanship" is other people agreeing with him. ....and for the record, his campaign promises are falling by the wayside quicker every day. He seems more like W than John did during the campaign. Same Defense Secrectary, Same Iraq policy, Surge in Afghanistan...call him Barack W Obama.

    April 6, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  280. Lama, Boston

    I don't know why this would be surprising Jack. How many Republicans have supported his stimulus efforts in the House? Zero. How many Senators supported it? Three? I know he is trying, but the lack of votes among Republican congressmen is meant to represent lack of support among Republicans.

    April 6, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  281. Pat

    It would really kill the republicans if Obama pulls the country out of this mess and goes down in history favorably maybe even as as a great president. . Since Bush's legacy is being the worst president in history, my guess is that the republicans are embarassed that their name is mud and that the country and even the world has such a low opinion of what they did to this country and got away with to boot. They want him to fall so they can save face and are glad to help him along with that.

    Southaven, MS

    April 6, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  282. Susan from Alabama

    Pres. obama has done nothing but push a socialist agenda and
    Republicans do not believe in it. They have every right to vote against
    those type of policies., I'm afraid this country is going to reget ever
    voting for this person..

    April 6, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  283. Matt

    Bipartisanship doesn't need to be squishy or friendly, and it doesn't have to look like we expect it to. John Boehner and House Republicans submitted an alternative budget proposal, and John McCain is right behind them with a budget outline of his own. Such actions look like participation, and it's a good start at the very least.

    April 6, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  284. nikki, PA

    While it's true that O'Bama is a rookie, he is no different than any other first term President. However, he did "inherit" huge problems which need to be focused upon. He doesn't need to deal with the divisive movement of the Republicans or the Democrats for that matter. Party loyalty must take a back seat to the needs of our country. The majority voted for this man, let's give him our support. For those bloggers who feel it's about wanting to make a black man fail, I suppose there are a few of those, but the majority "hired" him so get over yourself. Race doesn't always play into it.

    April 6, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  285. Michael

    When you have the most liberal agenda in the history of the United States of America you're going to create quite a partisan divide. The divide doesn't surprise me at all but at the same time it pleases me. I am happy that conservatives see Obama for what he really is and I'm also happy that the extremism of the left is being exposed.

    April 6, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  286. OJFL

    When the Republicans are not called to the table for the stimulus, the budget, anything, it is very hard to be bi-partisan, is it not? What concessions have the Democrats made to the Republicans lately? Even last year the omnibus bill was not passed because the president threatened to veto the bill. That is what happened to bi-partisanship.

    April 6, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  287. Skee

    With more and more Americans getting their news from Rush and Hannity, it's no wonder the spread amongst partisanship is so high. The conservatives would rather be right and watch Obama fail than see their own nation succeed. No I don't think there's a chance for bi-partisanship, and I don't want there to be one. It's beyond obvious that conservative policies do not work, and the past 8 years are more proof than we need. When over 80% of the wealth generated by Bush's tax cuts went directly into teh pockets of teh wealthiest 5%, we as Democrats should have no interest in even trying to adopt these types of foolish policies. The reson Democrats took office is directly due to the failure of the Republicans the past 8 years. Like Obama says – lets "look forward" and leave the conservatives and their failures behind.

    April 6, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  288. Merv

    Jack, there is a stark difference between a socialist agenda and a capitalist agenda. Bipartisanship requires some mutual ground. There is little to none here. I do not want Obama to fail and I certainly don't want the country to fail, but I DO want the socialist agenda that is being put forth right now to fail. The country can be, must be, and will be rescued on the same basis it was built – CAPITALISM.

    April 6, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  289. Ray

    It's embarassing to watch how the republicans have devolved into such a me-first, screw-everyone-else set of ideologies, but that appears to be what they are now. Bush started it, and like a nasty virus the party just can't seem to get it out of its system. They look like a party that is completely out of touch and increasingly irrelevant.

    To answer your question Jack, i don't think the idea of bipartisanship exists anymore in the republican party.

    April 6, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  290. Bill

    Republicans are responsible for the divide. They champion people like Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity and Michael Savage who all make a living spreading misinformation and inciting GOP supporters. The Bush/Cheney administration also fueled the fire with their black & white view of ideologies. Obama has been trying to bring bipartisanship back, but it seems some Americans love their party more than their country.

    April 6, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  291. Mark from Nashville

    Bipartisanship died when the Senate changed the rules regarding filibusters. A filibuster used to mean an endless debate, one in which Senators could be quorum-called to the floor 24 hours per day. It was only threatened in the direst of circumstances.

    Now a filibuster is a 48 hour affair, there's no incentive for opposing sides to get together and forge an agreement. The two sides just use the forum as a place to posture intractable positions, knowing full well that bills won't pass unless 60 votes are in the bag. We need to go back to the old filibuster rules and then we'll have bipartisanship once again.

    April 6, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  292. kay

    The GOP happened to bipartsanship. They just can't stand not being in control. The Dems (Pelosi and Reid) have compounded the problem. While they bicker, Wall Street is figuring out how to profit. We need to overhaul the whole system starting with Congress.

    April 6, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  293. Dee from Deptford

    The Republicans don't want bipartisanship. Look what happened when three of there most prominent Senators voted for the Stimulus package. THEY BELITTLE THEM. Some wanted to throw them out of there ARROGANT party. I am tired of listening to them. I am tired of listening to Conservative Talk radio put our president down. To me these people are not good Americans. I am suppose to listen to Cheney, Karl Rove etc. These guys should be in jail. And, maybe someday that will happen.

    WE NEED TO GET RID OF THE REPUBLICANS and bring in a different party. One that can sit with the other party and discuss things.

    April 6, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  294. David Arking

    The Republicans are a bunch of zero sum game jerks, not compromisers. What's Obama supposed to do? If he waits until the Republicans decide to trade in their bag of dirty tricks for a genuine willingness to negotiate in good faith, his term will be over!

    April 6, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  295. ATL Guy

    Barack Obama = Black male
    Republican Party = White males that lost to a black male

    There will be no participation or bipartisanship on behalf of the Republicans for the next four years or possibly 8 yrs if he wins another term to the White House. If they support Barack in any way, there supporters will not forgive them at all.

    April 6, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  296. Jim

    "Bi" means two, and the Republicans want no part of joining together for the good of the country.

    April 6, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  297. Chris

    What happened to idea of bipartisanship? Start with the press by counting how many negative replies blame the repbulicans listed here istead of broken campaign promises. Jack, your partisan stance always shows.

    April 6, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  298. Jennifer

    Bi-partisanship is a lot more than inviting people over for a party. It means actually working with them and incorporating at least some of their ideas in your legislation. Obama is far more at fault here than the Republicans (although both sides do share some of the blame).

    April 6, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  299. Jim - Toledo

    Why is it the libs are always so angry?????? If you want to get someone to work with you, you don't do it by being pissed off at the world and calling them names.

    The liberal idea of bipartisanship is my way or the highway....... Real smooth

    April 6, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  300. Dan

    Definition of Bi-partisanship: DO IT MY WAY.

    April 6, 2009 at 5:13 pm |