Political Pundits: Reality Will Be the Test for Obama

State of the Union roundtable analysis says action will be the real measure of President Obama's success.
3:00 | 01/28/14

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Transcript for Political Pundits: Reality Will Be the Test for Obama
Let's get to are political power panel now that includes Matthew Dowd Donna Brazil David Clough and Bill Kristol who might -- pick up for it. The guy was on the screen -- badly pick on you just because you happen to be right there staring me in the face great -- great to see you he. Is there are lying to you that sticks out that will resonate in any way or is this gonna just kind of -- -- into the ether. The speech that nobody will remember. Well I think he has George -- I think the most compelling emotional moment was the end with Corey Graham -- I think that was the most emotional moment that's the moment people remember the most. I think the line. That -- its when he set a -- -- can -- can can become speaker of the house and as of son of a single mom can become president was a great line -- think. The rift that he did on women and people pay for -- Work I think. It's something that people remember but as -- -- the most emotional moment. Is the one at the end of the last two minutes of this I think the speech as US Georgia great question is. Is Kennedy speeches turn things around and can it what is a shot at that and if you -- looking back at history. These data union speech is hardly ever move numbers and especially at this point in time in a presidency if you look at it he's very much like George Bush flies. Almost exactly the same numbers George Bush was George Bush lost badly of the 2006 mid -- It's because. These -- recovered and because that at the after 2006 and just like after this -- 24 -- the next presidential race is gonna start. I think the president has about six months. To turn it around he's gonna have to not -- -- from this speech but what does he do over the next six months with congress are without congress he's got six months and after the six months. It's very hard to get back. While having the clock is ticking there are many other questions -- want to ask our political power panel but I do want to take a quick break. And -- get it over to John Carl is a Capitol Hill standing by with the junior senator from Texas -- -- Hey Dan I am not here with the -- senator from tells but I -- here and Statuary Hall. I don't don't call the -- he might have exaggerated injuries somewhere in the complex heading our way but one wanted to point -- -- talked to George about immigration reform. One -- that was -- -- the way the president's book about that. As you know one -- the bottom line if not the bottom line principal. For the white house on immigration reform has been -- any comprehensive immigration or immigration reform bill must include a path to citizenship. For those that are already here in the in the country illegally the president did not repeat that gave the speech it's not because they've. Caved on that principle but right now. They are trying to reach out to Republicans they want republics -- -- as far as they -- and for many Republicans that is simply a bridge too far. But it was notable he didn't mention -- try to rub. Rub their faces in that -- he was you know extending. You know away a bit of an olive branch here he -- Called out Marco Rubio he called for immigration reform but in a way. They could be the least offensive possible. For the Republicans the other thing and it's not this is the response on the Republican side you saw some very enthusiastic. Applause from some Republicans to that call for immigration reform. We saw an awful lot of Republicans on -- -- more sitting down looking rather grumpy at that point. This is an issue. -- is really going to divide Republicans in the next couple of months Republican leaders I believe including the speaker of the house are going to push. To go as far as -- candidate immigration reform -- the party needs it. National -- needs. To show that they could go forward and immigration reform but you'll see a lot of very strong opposition to be a very divisive issue within the Republican Party in the next couple months. Yet perhaps the only hope for some -- bipartisan progress on much an issue. John stand by Melanie get it to Donna Brazil down on this and struck by what Matt -- dad was saying just a moment ago that. We may -- that the president may have six months. -- -- anything done before he -- official lame duck status you agree with that and do you think he can do anything in these coming months. Well -- he might become a legislative lame duck only because the clock is taken but I think the president has extraordinary Powell -- To go out and do things that I think the American people support wholeheartedly. I think it's the president has to continue to act like he did today and. And -- new federal workers. New workers -- -- -- up part of federal contract is. We'll see there wages rise if the president go out and make that is match for every day to continue to act. Continue to do whatever he can do to help the American people who is still struggling. Through no fault they -- to get through this -- the -- the effects of the recession I think the president will rebound this year. David -- -- Take me inside -- the president's -- right now you've been with him on so many big nights. How's -- feeling right now do you think he feels like he checked the box did what he needed to do and and and is moving in the right direction. Driving its price -- -- -- speeches over the long process to put this together in glad last -- It's an opportunity -- to reset. And I do think he came across energized tonight and I think you know lot of talk about you know the discuss we're having right now. That's not someone -- look like he was in the doldrums worried about a standing so I think the question is always ending the Afghanistan war this year that something. I think that will be received well by the American people. He's got a I think now sort of campaigns around the minimum wage fight equal pay fight. Works -- immigration reform but listen if if six months from now health care story you know I think will improve but I don't think we'll have anything like -- did last thoughts. The problems. The shut down hurt the Republicans but it also -- the president heard everybody involved in good. -- Washington's -- without help. And if the economy improves like most economists think it will try to keep what you might see the president a strong position now this is -- present. In his. Well he's -- office is never gonna climb into the high fifties and he's got a band of support but I do think its approval rating can go up more importantly I think you can get some stuff done. Or at least get caught trying. And you know they've got a really -- the culprits or anything you can do -- executive action tonight really needs to be the start. This can't be a one act play. You know he's got to have some more things he rolls out here -- -- -- -- and everything I can with congress. But they may not be it would acting fast enough at all but I -- more things I can do in my power I think that's -- the American people wanna -- they want action they're they're deeply deeply frustrated. There is frustrated as I've seen them and my current politics. And that's -- we've had such but we've had -- -- elections previously 06 Kuwait -- wave elections ten was. So I think the American people are gonna keep. You know trying new folks until they like the result again. -- -- used the word frustrated visitors like the president himself as fresh fare I was really struck as were so many people by the interview he gave to David Remnick of The New Yorker where he. He he seems to be coming to terms of his limited power -- Well this roster and I think he's very logical person and so he says okay we have a problem and here's a Smart solution. And that's not the way this town works all the time -- I think you know particular issues -- more to do with the economy we that's only people struggling. Immigration reform is something a lot of people in the Republican Party support now be the time the -- both economically and politically. So it's frustrating when they're Smart things that can get done and I think even more than what's not getting done as what was done to the economy if you look at the shut down. If you look at the theatrics on the debt ceiling. You know matter it's a Republican or democratic congress -- -- -- that do great harm to this town our elected officials have visited great harm on the economy. And that's deeply frustrating I think to a president. Who still dealing with a very very tough economy it's approved -- not far enough. And and Bill Kristol let me around this that would view I think most Americans don't spent a lot of time. Room -- dating on the president's political standing at any given moment. What they do want is for Washington to do something on the issues that matter to them that three years remaining in this presidency. You've been around for a little while. Do you think there's any opportunity for anything to get done before we get so deeply entrenched in the political silly season that day you know any progress up the tables. I think people -- how lame lame ducks -- President Bush ordered a surge in Iraq when after a disastrous two years and -- -- by 2006 and he pulled -- off. -- -- -- succeeding isn't President Obama. Ultimately dollars -- out for peaceful withdrawal from Iraq too much trouble with that's -- Another topic. President Reagan after Iran Contra which -- a -- he was really in bad shape people tradition that an 87 at a bend it on a high note with the the sudden you hear about ready to. Break up and disappear in the Cold War by ready to be one in the economy continues to turn along. I mean he's president reality matters I think Obama for -- -- department it was it was I think about war. And it's as it was apartment passes on obamacare we really doubled not even half sentence acknowledgment that -- there were some problems there -- this website -- I heard about the -- -- worked too well. And G I think maybe I said a couple of things that were misleading the president might have said about they go to keep your insurance -- doctor. As if Republicans -- just fanatics who don't understand that this is working grade I mean really is that what the American public thinks about obamacare what we know it's not what they think so I think he's at some risk. I'm looking to the public that he keeps his program he designed -- -- fastest he likes it I think acknowledging that have been some problems that he stands ready to work to fix those. Would have -- a little more effective. And I think you're Republican watching -- speech whatever sort of -- -- -- have a sense you've been there what were could have. That that was really that aggressive stance by the president may be thought that was industry believes that he thought that was -- That -- Republicans on the defensive but I suspect most Republicans -- -- thought. But -- really you know I think we're gonna go ahead and try to get rid of the mandates are true mistake get rid of the insurance company bailouts. So I think that was -- and that is what he passed you know -- it's not that he's been present five years. This this is a real program people either getting better or worse health insurers as a result. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Obviate both speech won't matter -- doing fine and conversely if -- of those things happens. The speech from -- much and you'll be doing fine I mean he is president it's -- -- now about reality he's not running for president is not running for reelection he's not running against Mitt Romney. He can try to run against congress a little bit that it doesn't really work -- your six year you've been president for -- for five years so. I had -- -- -- Dave and I think it's it's really hit reality is going to be that testing of over the next year. Bill -- David Clough Donna Brazil Matthew -- appreciate all of you stand up late with us today and we. Very much value all of you or analysis on this important night.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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