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December 7th, 2009 1:36 pm
Obama: The Admonisher-in-Chief

Remember when then presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said that while Obama’s likening himself to Martin Luther King, Jr., was nice, it was really President Lyndon Johnson who changed civil rights from a rhetorical dream into legislative reality?  As usual, Clinton was criticized for speaking truth in public.  But her observation – and comparison – still rings true today.

Flash forward to President Obama’s remarks to Senate Democrats on Sunday.  While his midday sermon was long on admonishments to find common ground, it didn’t give any direction on how on to find it.  The lack of setting down definitions or benchmarks for success, or even support for moderates needing a safe harbor during tough re-election campaigns, indicates that Obama has no clue how to line up 60 votes in his own caucus.  LBJ never seemed to have that problem.  Hillary Clinton’s recognition of this indicates she may have learned more from her failures as First Lady health czar than Obama has over a lifetime of risk aversion.

This is a trend.  Since at least his time in law school, Obama has studiously avoided even the appearance of a paper trail.  He’s also managed to spend a decade as an elected legislator without authoring a single consequential piece of legislation.  Simply put, the man doesn’t know how to horse trade, cajole, and get a bill on his desk for signature.  One wonders how much less effective he’d be without a majority in both chambers.

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