With national health care reform finally checked off President Barack Obama's domestic "to do" list, many Americans wonder where the administration goes next.
Immigration reform champions argue it's their turn. Advocates of dramatic revisions to the No Child Left Behind education law insist their time has come. So do clean-energy activists and supporters of tougher Wall Street regulation.
No question Obama has regained momentum in the wake of last week's historic passage of health care reform. Still, the political path that lies ahead will be rocky, no matter which way Obama goes.
"In general, Republicans as a party do not want to give him a victory," said Kansas State University political scientist Joe Aistrup. "They want to paint Obama as a radical leftist."
One option is to simply do nothing because Congress is worn out from its protracted health care battle. With midterm elections looming this fall, bipartisan cooperation still appears difficult, even impossible.
But all politicians must remain mindful of the still-shaky economy.
"I do not agree with the assessment that they should do nothing," said Bill Lacy, director of the Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas. "Having said that … they should spend the next six months focusing on the economy."
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