The Party in the Executive and the Courts
Democratic senators strongly objected, citing President Barack Obama's constitutional duty to nominate a justice who would become the tie-breaking vote. Barack Obama began his presidency with an effort to be "post-partisan." When congressional Republicans refused to respond to his initiatives, he began to use more intensely partisan rhetoric to move policy by affecting public opinion. Presidents and governors can gain legislative support for their programs in several ways. Executives can use their ability to attract media coverage, their public approval, and the coattails and favors they may have provided to individual legislators. Another powerful segment of the executive branch is the large number of federal regulatory agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Democrats usually hold different beliefs about government and the economy than Republicans do, and Democratic judges and bureaucrats, similarly, hold different views from Republican judges and bureaucrats.