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Democrats' failure at US midterms signals Obama’s personal defeat — Russian lawmaker

November 05, 2014, 13:23 UTC+3 MOSCOW

US president Barack Obama is unlikely to do something that will sharply change the attitude of the majority of the US population toward him, senior Russian lawmaker Alexey Pushkov says

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Barack Obama

Barack Obama

© AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

MOSCOW, November 5. /TASS/. A senior Russian lawmaker Alexey Pushkov said the poor results of the Democrats at Tuesday’s US midterm elections to the Congress are a personal defeat of President Barack Obama.

“I believe this ‘democratic failure’ is a personal defeat of Obama, the result of his very low ratings, a sharp deterioration of his image, as he has evolved from the president of hope to the president of disappointment,” Pushkov, who heads the Foreign Committee in the Russian parliament's lower house, the State Duma, told TASS.

Although the US president has another two years to serve, he is unlikely to “do something that will sharply change the attitude of the majority of the US population toward him,” the Russian lawmaker said.

Pushkov said during the election campaign the Democrats tried to distance themselves from Obama as any references to him were unpopular and could have led to unfavorable consequences.

In particular, Pushkov said the US president is accused of being unable to deal with the Islamic State militants and spread of the deadly Ebola virus. “Obama did not suggest any distinct line that would allow the country to feel safe,” he said.

“So I think, on the one hand, this is a deserved defeat, and on the other hand, this is not just a defeat of the Democratic Party, but this is the defeat of the president,” Pushkov said.

The Republicans have won most of the seats in the Senate at Tuesday’s midterm elections and also widened their majority in the House of Representatives, US media reports said on Wednesday, citing exit polls.

The results of the midterm elections mean that the new Congress, which is due to convene in January, will be fully controlled by the Republicans for the first time since 2006.

The Republicans will head all the committees in both houses and define the legislative agenda. Such a prospect will create serious difficulties for Obama during the next two years of his presidency.

Pushkov said the Republican victory is unlikely to seriously affect Washington’s foreign policy but will result in an “unfavorable vector” for Russia amid the current hawkish statements.

Many Republicans have been calling on the US to immediately start sending arms to Ukraine and switching to a new Cold War with Russia, and some of them have also urged to eliminate the regime of Iran.

“That’s why the consequences of the foreign policy, in my opinion, in general in the atmosphere in the US political class will be unfavorable,” Pushkov said, adding that there is no hope for a “positive shift” in the US-Russia relations.

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