20 April 2012


Peggy Noonan wrote this a few weeks ago and I like her critique.

If you jumped into a time machine to the day after the election, in November, 2012, and saw a headline saying “Obama Loses,” do you imagine that would be followed by widespread sadness, pain and a rending of garments? You do not. Even his own supporters will not be that sad. It’s hard to imagine people running around in 2014 saying, “If only Obama were president!” Including Mr. Obama, who is said by all who know him to be deeply competitive, but who doesn’t seem to like his job that much. As a former president he’d be quiet, detached, aloof. He’d make speeches and write a memoir laced with a certain high-toned bitterness. It was the Republicans’ fault. They didn’t want to work with him.
He will likely not see even then that an American president has to make the other side work with him. You think Tip O’Neill liked Ronald Reagan? You think he wanted to give him the gift of compromise? He was a mean, tough partisan who went to work every day to defeat Ronald Reagan. But forced by facts and numbers to deal, he dealt. So did Reagan.

I'm willing to accept and address the numerous flaws of congressional Republicans, but I'm tired of the complaint that the president has failed because Republicans haven't played nice. That's politics. Bill Clinton, like Reagan, knew how to make it work. The president does not.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The times I have seen and/or read Noonan I have been impressed. Indeed, I am again here. A President should be entering office knowing bridges need to be built and compromises must be made. Ironic that the country elected what was thought to be the ultimate bridge builder...but all we have around us now are walls.