You either didn't read your entire citation, or you simply fail to understand nuance.
Democrats held a 35 seat majority in the House and a single seat advantage in the Senate, which included "independent" Senators of Vermont and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, both of whom caucused with the Democrats. The 2008 election saw that majority swell to 78 seats in the House and nine seats in the Senate.Two of the 60 votes were Independents that supposedly caucused with Democrats. But I would not have called Joe Lieberman a reliable vote for Democrats.
How is that possible, you ask? Everybody says that the Democrats had a full filibuster-proof majority? The math doesn't add up, you say. If there are 100 seats in the Senate, and Republicans, as of January 2009 had only 40 of them (technically the Republicans had 41 of them initially, but we'll get to that), doesn't that mean that the Democrats had the remaining 60, giving them the supermajority in the Senate?
No, not necessarily, because it was a very odd year in Congressional politics.
Remember that Minnesota Senatorial election in 2008? The one that pitted former SNL writer/cast member and Air America Radio host against Republican incumbent Norm Coleman? That race dragged on forever, resulting in several challenges and recounts until the Minnesota Supreme Court finally concluded on June 30th, 2009, that Franken was indeed the winner. Franken wasn't sworn into office until July 7th, 2009, a full six months after the 111th Congress had taken charge.
And it wasn't even that easy. Even had Franken been seated at the beginning of the legislative session, the Democrats still would only have had a 59-41 seat edge. It wasn't until late April of 2009 that Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter defected from the Republican Party to caucus with the Democrats. Without Franken, the Dems only had 58 votes.
But even that's not entirely accurate, and the Dems didn't have a consistent, reliable 58 votes. Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy was terminally ill with a brain tumor, and could only muster up the energy to vote on selected legislation. His presence could not be counted on, and thus his vote in the Senate could not be counted on. During the first year of the Obama presidency, due to his illness Kennedy missed 261 out of a possible 270 votes in the Senate, denying the Democrats the 60th vote necessary to break a filibuster. In March of 2009, he stopped voting altogether. It wasn't until Kennedy passed away in late August, 2009, and an interim successor was named on September 24th, 2009, that the Democrats actually had 60 votes.
And even then the 60 vote supermajority was tenuous at best. At the time, then 91 year old Robert Byrd from West Virginia was in frail health. During the last 6 months of 2009, Byrd missed 128 of a possible 183 votes in the Senate. Byrd passed away on June 28, 2010 at the age of 92.
Obama never had a 60 vote rubber stamp of Democrats in the Senate. To say he did is an exaggeration at best.