Can Obama Tame the Democrats?

Democrats in Congress say they want to pass the President's agenda — except when they don't. Can the White House keep them in line?

Brooks Kraft / Corbis for TIME

Barack Obama has filled his White House with all sorts of academic prodigies and propeller-heads, a crew more comfortable with the mortarboard than the flag pin. They are, as a group, masters of the art of the optimal, of creating great solutions on paper if not always in reality. And so every now and then, sobering discussions occur behind closed doors, like the one in mid-April when a collection of Cabinet secretaries, former academics and political advisers gathered to discuss the Administration's blueprint for a global-warming bill. The experts called for a significant increase in the cost of carbon...

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