February 14, 2009

AFTER ALL, HE GAVE IT ALMOST A WHOLE MONTH:

Bipartisanship Isn’t So Easy, Obama Sees (PETER BAKER, 1/14/09, NY Times)

Whatever it will do for the economy, the legislation that passed Friday will clearly not do anything to create long-term, sustained bipartisan reconciliation. Not one Republican voted for Mr. Obama’s plan in the House and just three voted for it in the Senate as it headed to final passage on Friday night. The party-line schism, coupled with the withdrawal on Thursday of a Republican senator, Judd Gregg, as a nominee to Mr. Obama’s cabinet, made clear the futility so far of the president’s effort to move Washington toward post-partisanship.

Their unrequited overtures to Republicans over the past several weeks taught Mr. Obama and his aides some hard lessons. Advisers concluded that they allowed the measure of bipartisanship to be defined as winning Republican votes rather than bringing civility to the debate, distracting attention from what have otherwise been major legislative victories. Although Mr. Obama vowed to keep reaching out to Republicans, advisers now believe the environment will probably not change in coming months.


Well, no one will accuse the new president of being as tenacious as the former in pursuit of his ends.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at February 14, 2009 10:50 AM
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