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First in a weeklong series

“[T]his takes on a partisan flavor, and, you know, right now I think our legislative agenda’s chock-full. I would like to explore how quickly we can get it done.”

—President Barack Obama, Jan. 15

Right there you have Obama’s position on voting rights for the District of Columbia, as articulated in a January sitdown with the Washington Post—in particular, the bill that aimed to hand the District a seat in the House of Representatives along with an extra one for Utah. But “how quickly we can get it done” was an interesting piece of verbiage. That’s because “we” implies some degree of teamwork. Yet by most accounts, Obama did little to press congressional leaders to move the bill through, even after it was stalled by a poisonous gun amendment. To complement his terrible record on substance, Obama has an uneven record on the symbolic stuff. Though he’s done plenty of photo-ops around town, he refused to place a “Taxation Without Representation” license plate on his official limousine.

More from LL’s Quotes of 2009