Forecasting the Weather in D.C.

Weathervane shows the political winds blowing on Capitol Hill.
CBS Illustration
The people on the sidelines (including me) used weather metaphors so often before the election they became a collective cliche.

The winds were blowing the Republican way, we kept saying. The only question: Would it be a tropical storm or a hurricane?

Well, for sure it was a big blow.

And for the president the ill wind just kept on blowing. His trip to Asia turned out as badly as the election.

How long has it been that a president went to a foreign capital to put the finishing touches on a trade agreement, only to come away with nothing? Did no one on the White House staff see that coming? How can that be?

And when the president tried to lecture China on their monetary policy, he was politely told to mind his own business. That's not a great signal to send to the rest of the world.

If that were not bad enough, look for another storm coming when Congress reconvenes this week.

Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi is already balking at any kind of compromise to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. Republicans say without that, all deals are off, so the tax cuts for everyone may expire at year's end. And that's just the half of it.

The middle has fallen out of our politics. Democrats elected to next year's new Congress are more liberal than those in the current Congress, and the Republicans more conservative - so the partisan divide is bound to grow wider.

I hate to keep using these weather metaphors, but for this president when it rains, it just seems to pour . . . and just keep on pouring.

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    Bob Schieffer is a CBS News political contributor and former anchor of "Face The Nation," which he moderated for 24 years before retiring in 2015.