The Republicans’ Plan for the New President

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January 15, 2013
Watch Inside Obama’s Presidency, FRONTLINE’s probing look at his first four years in office, online now.

On the night of Barack Obama’s inauguration, a group of top GOP luminaries quietly gathered in a Washington steakhouse to lick their wounds and ultimately create the outline of a plan for how to deal with the incoming administration.

“The room was filled. It was a who’s who of ranking members who had at one point been committee chairmen, or in the majority, who now wondered out loud whether they were in the permanent minority,” Frank Luntz, who organized the event, told FRONTLINE.

Among them were Senate power brokers Jim DeMint, Jon Kyl and Tom Coburn, and conservative congressmen Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy and Paul Ryan.

After three hours of strategizing, they decided they needed to fight Obama on everything. The new president had no idea what the Republicans were planning.

Tonight’s film, Inside Obama’s Presidency, explores the behind-the-scenes story of his first four years. With inside accounts from his battles with his Republican opponents over health care and the economy to his dramatic expansion of targeted killings of enemies, FRONTLINE examines the president’s key decisions and the experiences that will inform his second term.

Watch the film online or check your local listings to find out when it will be broadcast on your local station. Until then, read our discussion with six leading journalists who weigh in on President Obama’s first term. Has he been the transformative president he wanted to be?


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