Bob Woodward: Congress doesn't "think Obama likes them"


(CBS News) Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward's latest book, "The Price of Politics," covers President Obama's first term, more specifically the search for a grand bargain in Congress under Obama's leadership. Now that Obama has won another four years in the White House, Woodward insists that his administration must do two things: work towards better relationships with Republicans in Congress and more clearly define what the goals of the Democratic party are.

"The task here is to define the next stage of what the Democratic party is going to be," Woodward explained Wednesday on "CBS This Morning." "It can't be all entitlement spending, all spending forever, all the time. They're going to have to cut spending ... he's got to work out some deals with the Republicans. "

"The real question is kind of the inner Obama. How is he going to react to this victory? Is he going to be kind of humble?" Woodward said looking ahead after the election. "Is there going to be some resentment toward Republicans ... Running for president is demeaning in some ways."

Woodward touched on what he thinks is the critical issue behind Obama's relationship with Congress. "Democrats and Republicans, quite frankly, they don't think Obama likes them. Paul Ryan has said openly, 'Obama does not like us,' ... he [Ryan] has never met Harry Reid, the Senate leader ... you've got to get people together and that's the president's job," he said.

Woodward also claimed that Biden is an asset for the White House in Congress, saying, "It's so clear in the first four years that the dealmaking on the hill was done by Joe Biden time and time again," he said before adding that he has a valuable relationship with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, "In the White House, they call Biden the McConnell whisperer ... so that's going to be crucial."

Still, Woodward maintained that Obama must step into the arena of fostering good relationships with Congress too. "You can't turn it all over," he said, "he's got to lead." Woodward added that in his acceptance speech last night, "Obama "opened the door to discussions."