What Congress Will Look Like Under the Blue Dogs

Which way will a larger Democratic majority in Congress push Obama on foreign policy? The incoming "blue dogs"—electable centrists recruited by the Democratic Party for vulnerable districts—are likely to push a populist antiwar stand, urging Obama to draw down faster in Iraq than he might like. Typical newbie blue dogs like North Carolina's Larry Kissell may also encourage Obama's already strong impulse to add new protections for labor and the environment to free-trade deals, according the American Enterprise Institute's Norman Ornstein. Indeed the outgoing Congress may push through the pending deal with Colombia, because they know the new Congress won't do it. Finally, the blue dogs are skeptical of a new international climate-control deal (expected in December next year) because it will surely be costly—a hard sell during a recession. Congress is definitely going blue, with a bark that could make it tough for Obama to deal with America's neighbors.