Glickman Says He May Be ‘Pollyanish’ But Thinks Split Gov’t Will Help Unlock Gridlock

By Maya

Nov 29, 2010 4:19pm

ABC News’ Amy Walter reports: In an interview with ABC’s TopLine, Bi-partisan Committee Senior Fellow Dan Glickman says he’s optimistic about the prospects for an end to gridlock in Washington next year.  If things don’t improve, however, Glickman said “there could be a much more serious independent party movement in this country” in 2012. “I was in the Administration with the split government, at least for awhile with the Clinton administration, things tend to work a little bit better when you have one party in at least one part of government, and another party in at least one part of government,” said the ex-Rep. and ex-Agriculture Secretary.  “My judgment is that I think things will calm down a bit. I still think we’re for a few years of serious partisan differences, but I think the public is not going to tolerate bickering and hyper-partisanship. So, I’m hopeful, and maybe I’m Pollyannaish, but I think we’ll get a little bit better.” But, if Washington fails to deliver, says Glickman, the result could be “a more serious independent party movement in this country, which we have not had to date, but it could happen, if there is constant bickering, and not serious resolution of at least the jobs and the economic situation.” Glickman, who spent 18 years in Congress representing Kansas’ 4th CD, also hoped to see more leadership coming from the President and Congress on tackling the nation’s growing debt and the deficit.     “The truth of the matter is, you can deal with this deficit without doing serious damage to anyone in this country,” said Glickman. But, he said “the public has not yet been told the story very effectively.” Ultimately, that takes leadership from “the President and Congress and business leaders. You know, everybody’s got a stake in this game.” Still, he’d like to see the President take “this issue and make it the number one issue.”  On Wednesday, the Presidential Debt Commission is scheduled to offer recommendations on how to deal with deficits and the nearly $14 trillion national debt. At this point, however, it looks unlikely that the commission will be able to agree to a consensus report. Asked by ABC News’ Jon Karl his advice to his former Democratic colleagues on the Hill regarding expanding the Bush-era tax cuts, Glickman responded, “I  would to have liked to see the President take a stronger message in terms of a value-statement, of what he supports, and he’s come out with some of that, but given the election, my guess is they’ll probably punt this for awhile, a year or two.” Also joining Top Line was Time Magazine’s Jay Newton-Small who discussed what it’s like to cover Sarah Palin, including the fact that Palin taught her how to smoke a salmon.

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