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NBC's Mitchell and Wash Post's Cillizza Express 'Disappointment' in Obama's Second Term

On Friday's MSNBC Andrea Mitchell Reports, while previewing President Obama's upcoming press conference, host Andrea Mitchell turned to The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza and lamented the lack of liberal policy successes in the President's second term: "There's a disappointment factor because he doesn't have immigration reform, he doesn't have any notches on his belt, if you will, on domestic legislation..." [Listen to the audio]

Cillizza commiserated with Mitchell and declared: "Well, Andrea, and look, you know, I think if you said at the start of the year, "By August, would President Obama have something to point to say we reacted to Newtown?"....I mean that was sort of the thing that we were talking about every day. Could some sort of gun control measure pass? I think everyone expected something to pass."

Touting Obama's 2012 reelection, Cillizza fretted: "There aren't the sort of early second term accomplishments that I think many of us thought he might be able to rack up, given that he is coming off what I would say is a larger than expected victory in November 2012....That would have suggested more accomplishments than maybe we've gotten."

Cillizza concluded: "His supporters would blame that on a Republican-controlled House. Regardless, he doesn't have those accomplishments."

On Friday's Today, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd similarly noted the President's lack of accomplishments:

This is basically a little bit of a disappointing end of the summer for the President. Three months ago he thought this would be a press conference where he'd be talking about a big success, possibly signing a big immigration reform bill. That doesn't appear anywhere in sight. He's got a big budget battle coming up in the fall, implementation of health care. So it's a more precarious position that he's in as he heads to vacation and has this final press conference.

Here is a transcript of the August 9 exchange between Mitchell and Cillizza:

1:04PM ET

(...)

ANDREA MITCHELL: And, Chris Cillizza, this comes as the President is getting ready to leave for vacation. He's going to Martha's Vineyard tomorrow with the family for ten days. And there's a disappointment factor because he doesn't have immigration reform, he doesn't have any notches on his belt, if you will, on domestic legislation before leaving.

CHRIS CILLIZZA: Well, Andrea, and look, you know, I think if you said at the start of the year, "By August, would President Obama have something to point to say we reacted to Newtown?" It seems like it's way in the rearview mirror now, but I remember, I mean that was sort of the thing that we were talking about every day. Could some sort of gun control measure pass? I think everyone expected something to pass. How broad that might be, we didn't know, but he doesn't  have that.

Immigration is now on a timetable that sort of looks like end of the year, maybe, for House passage. Conference committee doesn't get their path to citizenship, a very sort of fraught legislative path.

So yeah, there aren't the sort of early second term accomplishments that I think many of us thought he might be able to rack up, given that he is coming off what I would say is a larger than expected victory in November 2012. Picking up seats in the Senate, picking up seats, his party, in the House, winning with 332 electoral votes. That would have suggested more accomplishments than maybe we've gotten. His supporters would blame that on a Republican-controlled House. Regardless, he doesn't have those accomplishments.

(...)