If you really want to see how much clout President Barack Obama has on Capitol Hill these days, watch the Senate on Tuesday.
The same liberal Democratic senators who stuck with the White House through six years of politically excruciating votes are set to break away in droves to oppose Obama’s free trade efforts.
Their goal is to block a bill that greases the wheels for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an enormous 12-country trade deal that Obama wants — badly — to add to his legacy. And their open rebellion against their own party’s president shows that lawmakers are viewing their own political fortunes as increasingly divorced from Obama’s.
The internal rift will be forced into the open Tuesday when the Senate casts its first procedural votes on a bill called “trade promotion authority” — or “fast track.”