My pleasure. Thanks for commenting.
I thought Obama and free trade Republicans could have found common ground here as well. But they may have been committed to their opposition strategy. Americans tend to blame/credit the president for everything, giving the opposition party an incentive to obstruct even when they agree with a policy on the merits. (And hey, it worked).
It’s also possible that Obama did a poor job courting them. Or they may have sensed a right-wing populist objection to free trade and opposed it for electoral reasons.
Still, if Hillary won, the lame duck session probably would have ratified the TPP. She could have lawyered her way around her “reservations,” and Republicans could have acted on principle before settling into opposition as Clinton took office.
But that’s not how things turned out.