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Yash Gupta
Business School Dean

Yash Gupta

Yash Gupta is Professor and Dean of The Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.

A poor salesman

Any important piece of legislation that comes before Congress must be based on a solid set of principles. Of course, politics is the art of compromise, but at some point one has to ask: Compromise to what end? One can compromise too much. When all the bargains and the concessions become so numerous that they obscure the original principles of the proposal, then it might be time to step back and decide to fight another day.

In a democracy, you're always going to hear conflicting views, especially on something as significant as health-care reform. The nation has been through this before, with the Social Security Act of 1935 and the Medicare/Medicare bill of 1965. Both were strongly opposed, but in both instances the presidents, along with other leaders in Washington, were steadfast in adhering to the principles on which the proposals were based. They made sure the nation understood these reforms would benefit the people.

By contrast, President Obama has done a poor job of selling his proposal. He never took a strong leadership role; he didn't use his bully pulpit to spell out clearly why the nation needs this reform. The result has been a great deal of ambiguity and confusion. That, in turn, has given energy to his opponents, who have commandeered the issue and couched it in their own terms.

We saw what happened over the summer at those town hall meetings, with talk of "death panels" and other scare tactics. And now this important reform proposal has been turned into the latest battlefield in the continuing war over abortion. Things seem out of control because the president failed to speak in a strong voice from the start.

In an "On Leadership" post several months ago -- "Man on the Moon" -- I wrote that the president should set the parameters of the health-care proposal and leave the details to Congress. Unfortunately, he has not done enough to frame the issue in a way that would make everyone - in Congress, on Main Street, on Wall Street - understand why this was such an important job to undertake.

This could have been a crowning, shining achievement for the president, and when you think of all the goodwill and momentum with which he entered office, it's hard to escape the disappointing conclusion that he has squandered a major opportunity.

By Yash Gupta

 |  November 11, 2009; 11:06 AM ET
Category:  Political leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Declining 'credibility capital' | Next: The ugly end-game


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Love2 Much: I understand where you are coming from.

This entire ordeal has baffled me completely. All this people who oppose health care, Why do you opposite? Everyone agrees health care is currently out of control. Everything has gone up. I remember when I was working in 2004 after I got married, for myself and my spouse was heatlh care through my employer was around $50 a paycheck, after Bush's 2nd term was up, it had gone up from $50 to now $140 a paycheck (with the addition of my child). That is OUT OF CONTROL. That doesn't include Dental or Vision or prescriptions meds. I witnessed someone who didn't have health care paying $140 for a prescription, where I pay a co-pay of $10 for certain meds. That's Bananas! If we had health care like Pres Obama is calling for, these people who don't have care have the opportunity to make a better impact on their families lives financially. Could have extra money to save and invest in education for their Kids. It's a WIN WIN for all!

Does anyone know what a "Public ""Option"" is...it's an OPTION! You have a CHOICE where to take that option or NOT. I think we all went to elementary school here. Can everyone agree to that assessment?

We are getting screwed over by the health care system. It reminds me of that commercial from a while back. Some one enter the hospital on a stretcher, they have the guy on the operating table, instead of having the the Body Shockers, they have a scanner and scan the patients Insurance card...as they wait for it to go through, they stare at the machine, once if finally does, they say....CLEAR, and begin to operate on the patient. That's what it feels like in the current health care state.

Going back to what Love2Much stated: "You finally get a President who really cares about YOUR NEEDS, the individual, and your family - Bush never did -- and it's not good enough. You'd rather have some fool that lies to you and could care less about you. 2012 -- you get your way and I want you to remember exactly that too because this time your dumb behinds will be worst off and it will serve you right. Bush treated you like suckers yet you voted for him twice - you lost your jobs and all your money and your benefits."

In my opinion, this is a bigger problem.

You shouldn't treat the next bad just because the previous President was incompetent. That's relationship skills 101! He has been in office for 10 month and has done more to HELP you than Bush has done in 8 years.

After reading ALL of the post, most of you think Obama should have the answers to every issue he was handed, it's going to take time people. Most of you don't even know what you are having for Dinner tonight and still deciding if you are going to max out your Credit cards during Black Friday, let alone make an impactful decision for Millions of people.

I am so blessed that none of you are President of the United States.

Posted by: jjedwards1976 | November 17, 2009 1:01 PM
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"he didn't use his bully pulpit"

President Obama will go down in history as one of the great orators of the century, and you refer to his skills as above.

The President is doing a good job expressing himself, and has done so for his entire political career. This president does not mix his personal religion or any religion for that matter in his oration style, and to reflect on your above position just shows your lack of observation skills and desire to place this Nobel Prize laureate in the class of "bully Pulpit" is just a waste of print space.


Posted by: patmatthews | November 12, 2009 7:07 AM
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Mr. Gupta says obama didn't use the bully pulpit -- well, the key word is "bully." An effective president listens to the people, but this one turns a deaf ear and puts his nose in the air. 53 percent of Americans disapprove of this president; they don't want Socialism, they don't want big government eroding liberties, they don't want higher unemployment and greater debt. And they don't want a leader who is ashamed of America. Sometimes leadership isn't talking from the bully pulpit. It's listening.

Posted by: wmpowellfan | November 12, 2009 6:05 AM
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Dear President Obama: I helped in your campaign starting in October 2006 as a volunteer. Then after you won, I applied for a job after I was forced out into retirement by one federal law enforcement agency at age 51. Whe I wanted to re-apply I was told by a USAID employee that "I should re-consider due to my age. In 2008 IRS started an audit of one year and when I complained about the IRS Rogue examiner, IRS added one year. I filed complaints to TIGTA but they failed to do their job and one TIGTA's deputy lied to my local US Senator. I filed my tax case with the US Tax Court, I am not a tax attorney, CPA, or tax consultant. I am a retired federal criminal investigator with years of experience of managing an offoce of internal affairs and fighting public corruption. Can your staff look at the IRS and TIGTA? All you have to do is compare the TIGTA reports against all complaints mentioned in the Internet by American Taxpayers filed against IRS.

Posted by: doctormiguel | November 12, 2009 3:54 AM
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President Obama's inarticulate mouthing of talking points in order to sell the healthcare bill is an unavoidable consequence of the bill itself. If he actually had good arguments to advance in support of this mess, we'd being hearing them.

Posted by: wbcoleman | November 12, 2009 2:37 AM
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The Real Problem here--Obama is great at reading a speech with his ever-present TelePrompter. Unfortunately, he has never come to the realization that the campaign is over and now has a job to do. He appears terrified of making any decision, on any subject, for fear of offending the lobbyist that helped him ascend to the Presidency. If what he has accomplished, or failed to do is "Change That We Can Believe In" then deal me out--we chose the wrong person for the job. Allowing Pelosi and Reid to "run the show" is an indication of his weakness and inability to do the job he was hired to do—To be a leader. The out of control spending is rendering our currency almost worthless, destroying our economy. The United States o America greatest problem is the political party system. This country was founded on the principle of “By the People and For the People” not the political party. There is far too much corruption in our political representatives and leaders. Joe Wilson was punished when he said "You Lie" when Obama said no care for illegal aliens, but there it is in the Pelosi abortion called healthcare reform.

Posted by: bradford2 | November 12, 2009 1:58 AM
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What more President Obama could have done by way of exercising the Bully Pulpit, to pass national health care, I can't imagine. Perhaps if he'd dressed in a sari, and grown a mustache.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | November 12, 2009 12:35 AM
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You hit the nail on the head.

Posted by: mcdermottmike1 | November 11, 2009 11:24 PM
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Gupta is hopelessly misinformed, politically out of touch and for a Dean of Business School that's suicidal.
Obama has been criticized by members of his own party and relentlessly by opposition for overexposure on the issue of health care reform.Starting with the seminal address which delineated before joint session of congress the central elements of the health care REFORM Obama then went full course press from East coast to West coast detailing each major aspect of the health care REFORM he wanted Congress to include.

Posted by: regulins | November 11, 2009 11:11 PM
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Obama chose a technique that's popular among community organizers: let people talk; let's find common ground; let's join forces and set aside differences in order to achieve something that may benefit everybody.

Immediately after the election, Obama invited stakeholders to attend countless meetings. Doctors, nurses, patients, insurers, hospital administrators, students, uninsured persons. Thousands of well-informed, well-meaning stakeholders participated in those discussions, all over the country.

From the beginning, it was evident that differences were too deep to ignore. Insurers and hospital admininstrators were adamant about their business; doctors, nurses, patients were adamant about a single-payer system. Obama chose to downplay those differences by offering a middleground formula: the public option. Which nobody really liked!!!

This "participatory", bottom-up approach collapsed when Republicans organized their own townhall meetings during the summer. Republicans proved they can mobilize lots of people, too. With a twist: the mobilizing factor was not hope but fear. Fear of "socialism", fear of "government-run hospitals", fear of losing health insurance, fear of "death panels".

This experiment in "direct democracy", this bottom-up approach to public policy, requires reliable information, open-minded participants, and skilled facilitators. Once information was distorted, and people began fearing, the process was adrift.

Then, Congress. Hundreds of puppets for sale. Thousands of lobbyists. Millions of dollars everywhere. After all, health care is a multi-trillion dollar business.

Obama thought he was dealing with a few neighbors with roughly similar interests, who just needed a facilitator in order to get organized; then, they could work together to improve the neighborhood's playground.

Obama had no idea what the real world of business, politics, and REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY looks like.

Posted by: tropicalfolk | November 11, 2009 10:18 PM
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He's not a "salesman," he's a "statesman."

George Bush was a true salesman, getting by on a shoeshine and a smile.

Posted by: motorfriend | November 11, 2009 10:10 PM
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Some wrote Obama should emulate LBJ.

LBJ's first act as POTUS was to stop the presses printing Silver Certificates...

Thus beginning a ceaseless stream of POTUS's who have served the International Globabl Financial Oligarchy (Federal Reserve) far more than they have served the American people...
Americans need to take back ownership of our Presidency from these international bankers who absolutely control the US media and who thereby control who gets elect president...

Primary qualification: Do the bidding of the International bankers...

Posted by: Archarito | November 11, 2009 9:56 PM
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Hasn't used his bully pulpit? Are you kidding?? That's ALL he's done.

Posted by: neversaylie | November 11, 2009 9:50 PM
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It's worth repeathing CaribGirl's comment, "Healthcare reform has never been done before, several Presidents who had majorities in congress tried and failed. LBJ who this president is often suggested should emulate, had bigger majorities in congress, and had himself spent longer in congress than Obama, yet was able to only pass Medicare, he couldn't get a comprehensive healthcare reform bill passed. Under Obama's leadership, such a bill has passed in one chamber of congress. So he's obviously doing something right."

All the second guessing and easy sniping by people who don't want health care reform at all ignores what Obama has accomplished thus far. And, why should he or any of us have expected that the Republican right wing opposition would stoop to lies, such as the "death panel" image that was totally made up. Who could have imagined that people would be motivated by a desire to see the President fail rather than serious reflection about what might be best for the country as a whole?

Perhaps Obama could have done better. He's gotten this thing farther than any other American President. How about a little credit where it is due, and how about a little less noise from people who just want the President to fail?

This country needs health care reform. The weaknesses in this plan are mainly caused by attempts to placate the right. I for one won't vote for a candidate that opposed this bill.

Posted by: CaldwellYoung1 | November 11, 2009 9:48 PM
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Let's see...
Obama impedes Congressional investigation of Fort Hood Massacre by Islamic Terrorist...
Obama BRIBES congressman to vote for misnamed Diseased House sickness bill...
Obama kisses ***** of Illuminutty Global financial oligarchy at expense of US citizens...
Obama disses the US Constitution to the max...
Obama supports anti-Christian Sharian law...
Obama worships at the feet of anti-American preachers...
Obama signed national emergency laws that enable/implement immediate martial law...

Obama wants to tax US taxpayer to the extent that Americans will be uanble to pay their tax bills, so that the IRS can then begin confiscating property on behalf of his backers, the international financial oligarchy (Federal Reserve)....

Posted by: Archarito | November 11, 2009 9:47 PM
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I dont agree,many people dident believe he would beat the clintons or mccain...but he did.Dont sell him short just yet,He knows what he,s doing and my bet is he,s far from giving up the fight for healthcare reform and he will see that its done and done right.

Posted by: smorrow | November 11, 2009 9:44 PM
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Obama is a perpetual campaigner. Anyone with any sense knows that. He has several dire problems on his plate and had no real experience before being elected. If he doesn't find the spine to deal with the grave problems facing the nation, he may find himself voted out of office in 2012.

The mid-term elections should be quite interesting. The Democrats are almost certain to lose seats. If that does happen, Obama's job will be even harder.

Posted by: mmm1110 | November 11, 2009 9:27 PM
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what do you mean obozo is a poor salesman?

Obozo sold more guns and ammo this last year than anyone in history.

Posted by: charlietuna666 | November 11, 2009 8:50 PM
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Ummmmm. Did the author of this left wing dream ever consider that President Obama does not have the votes? He gave more press conferences and addresses to joint sessions of congress than almost any other president on any issue. It didn't sell. It is New Coke. It is KFC Baked Chicken. It was a good try, but it didn't work.

Posted by: Delongl | November 11, 2009 8:38 PM
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Obama = No Confidence

Obama = NPD sociopathic dual profile looking for face time and over running the Television with himself.

Obama = disaster leaving only victims in his wake.

Posted by: dottydo | November 11, 2009 8:34 PM
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So all those stories about the President being overexposed on healthcare are just a figment of my imagination. During the spring and summer, he was everywhere selling why healthcare was needed and the principles he wanted.

Healthcare reform has never been done before, several Presidents who had majorities in congress tried and failed. LBJ who this president is often suggested should emulate, had bigger majorities in congress, and had himself spent longer in congress than Obama, yet was able to only pass Medicare, he couldn't get a comprehensive healthcare reform bill passed. Under Obama's leadership, such a bill has passed in one chamber of congress. So he's obviously doing something right.

In terms of the product, neither medicare or social security was passed in their current form, both had significant flaws which were fixed over time. The same will happen with the legislation that passes.

Posted by: caribgirl | November 11, 2009 8:34 PM
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Obama is a perpetual campaigner not a leader!

He reads good teleprompter but can not give a speech!

To avoid conflict which might discredit his position he has no position on anything! Hence he gives all agenda items to the Congress!

Posted by: jjcrocket2 | November 11, 2009 8:31 PM
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As soon as Obama sold out to the insurance companies I lost whatever hope I had for true health care reform.

Forcing people to buy insurance from the very same crooks that have been robbing us blind for decades just plain sucks.

I agree, Obama will be a one termer and most likely the repubs will take back the Senate in 2010 and the White House in 2012. That of course will allow the corporations to rake us over the coals again while ignoring health and safety rules for the working people of the US while underfunding the FDA, EPA and other watchdog governmental agencies.

Without a viable third party to keep the republicrats honest, we are f*cked.

Posted by: rcubedkc | November 11, 2009 7:20 PM
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Mr. Gupta, your academic focus must certainly not be in economics, because Obamacare isn't viable without huge government subsidies that do nothing for fair competition in the marketplace. A self-sustaining public option that is affordable to the uninsured and also pays for itself within a truly level playing field in the insurance industry is a pipe dream and you are being disingenuous if you deny it.

I wonder if this is why the Carey Business School continues to slide in the national rankings.

RambleOn, 1995 graduate of a higher-ranking business school

Posted by: RambleOn | November 11, 2009 7:04 PM
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The problem with health care reform is not that it is expensive: costing whom for what?
nor coercive: forcing insurance carriers to deal with people they would reject as high risk, or compelling Americans to pay for something they may not want or afford, or as a bit of trivia new rules affecting vending machine operators;
no, the problem is it again illustrates the incompetency of the American Congress and how it has devolved into a mockery, a farce, a TV reality show, and like the Bush era, it further exposes the hysterical nature of yet another major political party, who exceed their stupidity with arrogance and abuse of power—
like the Republicans in 2008, I truly hope for a disintegration of the Democrats and their foolishness: "govern" does not mean "coerce", and represent does not mean "let's make more laws"..
Obama is neither a effective leader nor a rôle model: he is a proxy elected by those who thought Bush was a bogeyman, and were stirred by fear. Now that he is in office he makes Reagan look like a world class leader


Posted by: irvnx | November 11, 2009 6:46 PM
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Many people both inside and outside the United States continue to live in a fantasy land. They only hear the parts of the President's messages that match their hopes and they project their agendas on him. Then they imagine that he has some kind of magic wand that would realize those agendas if only he were to chose to wave it. The truth is that we live in a democracy with legislative rules biased against big changes. The President has no power to resolve intractable problems either inside or outside the United States. We don't want our President to be a dictator. Nor do we want our politics to be dominated by a minority with an excessive belief in their own virtue.

Posted by: dnjake | November 11, 2009 6:41 PM
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President Obama should have had several direct talks with the American people -- not a press conference -- not speaking to Congress -- but speaking directly to the American public behind his desk in the Oval Office. I am soooo disappointed in his lack of enthusiasm for anything. But I saw it coming on the campaign trail. I'm afraid he's made a mess of something we need so desperately -- serious healthcare reform.

Posted by: equalityforall | November 11, 2009 6:23 PM
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This Just In!

52% of public are opposed to health care reform.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 45% now favor the health care plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. Most (52%) remain opposed.

Only 25% Strongly Support the plan while 42% are Strongly Opposed.

Posted by: geo82170 | November 11, 2009 6:10 PM
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This Just In!

52% of Americans public are opposed to health care reform..

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 45% now favor the health care plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. Most (52%) remain opposed.

Only 25% Strongly Support the plan while 42% are Strongly Opposed.

Posted by: geo82170 | November 11, 2009 6:07 PM
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I agree with Yash. This President has not come to terms with the Power of the Presidency. He was afraid to take advantage of his political capital in the spring and now has lost his FDR moment. In addition, he has actually become more insular than one would expect of a young person and has surrounded himself with too many smart-ass persons. Nowhere is there a down-to-earth two-year college grad with real street smarts, just a bunch of hyper-blackberry addicts who are too busy hitting Send instead of making eye contact with the American people. Michelle O where are you? It is time to step in and save your husband's presidency, else methinks we will have another Jimmy Carter one-term reign.

Posted by: Pachc | November 11, 2009 5:52 PM
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Wasn't it just late in the summer that Pres Obama was accused of being overexposed on the health care issue? It's easy to be critical and find fault in an article, even in a misguided one such as this.

Posted by: dudh | November 11, 2009 5:45 PM
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An excellent column. But this is only one of many examples of how Obama's relentless pursuit of compromise at any price over principle is sinking his presidency before it can even truly get started.

On immigrant rights, justice for Guantánamo detainees, gays in the military, standing up to the Israeli hawks who are wrecking any chance of Mideast peace by expanding illegal Jewish settlements, and speaking out against Iran's brutal dictatorship or for human rights in China, not to mention reigning in the Wall Street bankers who destroyed our economy and put millions out of work, Obama has shown all the backbone of a jellyfish.

Posted by: algasema | November 11, 2009 5:44 PM
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Even President Obama is astute enough to know that his healthcare proposal is dead on arrival. Tell me what the government has done (i.e., Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid) that has ended up costing the taxpayer less, in the long run, or has not added to the ever skyrocketing deficit? There's no confusion as to the results of these programs. This healthcare plan sounds a death knell for decent healthcare and for the economy. I echo those who are extremely glad that the President has "failed" at the bully pulpit.

Posted by: TerrifiedPatriot | November 11, 2009 5:34 PM
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This is an absurd: Obama has been working relentlessly BEHIND THE SCENES as He does very often to pass controversial decisions.

Posted by: TPdBLY2b | November 11, 2009 5:20 PM
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It's not that Obama hasn't tried to sell this snake oil to us, it's just that we aren't buying.

You can try to sell people a bag of crap, you can even have Apple design the bag. But it's still a bag of crap and no perfume, no bag, no salesmanship will make people want to buy it.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | November 11, 2009 5:02 PM
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I am not sure where Mr Gupta has been. Obama has laid out the case very clearly, but the obfuscation of the conservative response has muddled the message. The MSM has given equal weight to both sides - giving the impression that there is truth in death panels and socialism.

Posted by: roberthurley | November 11, 2009 4:57 PM
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I think your argument is bogus, bad salesman my azz. More like terrible never satisfied customers. Its a darn shame that people want him to fail so bad that they just will not work with him. Do you know if he had been the salesman you say "he needs to be" the article would have read he's to pushy, he bullies too much.

It's sick, they will not get anything done, they care nothing about the American voters, our needs or what is good for US. All they want want to do is complain and be uncooperative so President Obama can fail and they can say I told you so and frankly it's a crying shame. Their are voters out here who are not smart enough to study for themselves to see where the real problem lies.

Bottom line - the man is damned if he do and he is damned if he don't and it's ridiculous. Grow up we need health care period end of f--ing discussion - now if you serious about "We the People" then you will lay down your differences, come to the table and get the job done but it's not about that, it's about a bunch of selfish individuals who only want their way.

You don't want to vote for him again in 2012, then by all means do not vote, because we are tired of you tearing the man down anyway. You finally get a President who really cares about YOUR NEEDS, the individual, and your family - Bush never did -- and it's not good enough. You'd rather have some fool that lies to you and could care less about you. 2012 -- you get your way and I want you to remember exactly that too because this time your dumb behinds will be worst off and it will serve you right. Bush treated you like suckers yet you voted for him twice - you lost your jobs and all your money and your benefits. Now the brother comes in here, trying to work with America -- ALL - the people and what do you do. No worries, you'll reap what you sow and you'll get exactly what you ask for.

Posted by: love2much SE | November 11, 2009 4:29 PM
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You make a clear argument, and time will tell whether you are right or not. It's clear the President has taken lessons from the Clinton approach, and has held his imprimatur in reserve.

Given the unprecedented virulence of the attacks from opponents ("You Lie!" etc.), I think he is wise to avoid engaging them in any way. They have shown no good faith, nor even basic civic-mindedness.

With opponents like that, better to avoid jumping into the cage match they hope to provoke tae-kwon-do style, and instead, take an Aikido approach.

Posted by: firethief | November 11, 2009 4:08 PM
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HiKey - Rasmussen is always an outlier from all other polls on the conservative side - always. Take their stuff with a grain of salt.

I agree to a degree with the author. Obama has to forget rhetoric and talk to the people as LBJ did in the sixties. This is a complex subject and the people are confused about a lot of it. They need education not inspiration.

Posted by: sauerkraut | November 11, 2009 4:04 PM
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Obama sold uninsured Americans out from day one. His cost containment pledge was the killer. While bankers get rewarded for
destroying the financial futures of middle class Americans, Obama put the screws to the sick and uninsured. Sooner or later, everyone will figure this out.

Posted by: steveconn1 | November 11, 2009 3:43 PM
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All this advice; would love to see the decisions any of you would make as President of anything. All this second guessing. Socrates800 and a few other's seem to be on target... the bully idea is a Bush rule.

Posted by: redhead1 | November 11, 2009 3:33 PM
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"never a bad idea to fire someone who is not a good fit."

And this voter will bear that in mind in November 2012.

Posted by: SCOTSGUARDS | November 11, 2009 3:27 PM
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It's a bad proposal and so, as a citizen, voter, and taxpayer, if it has a bad salesman, for that I am pleased.

Posted by: SCOTSGUARDS | November 11, 2009 3:25 PM
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I just think it's flat out wrong to say Obama "hasn't used his bully pulpit." He went on a nationwide speaking spree to sell health care. Speeches all over, every day. Over and over. He even convened a very rare joint session of Congress to try to sell the nation on health care. It isn't that he hasn't used the bully pulpit. More simply, it's that there isn't a national consensus on the kind of comprehensive redoing of health care that he's trying to sell. Even the Democrat-controlled Congress split almost dead even on the House bill.

Posted by: MeInTheMiddle | November 11, 2009 3:20 PM
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President Obama is not a horse trader. A pity, because the public health care issue is the perfect application for it.

This is not Obama's disposition. He is an intellectual, by nature. He always said his strength is in persuasion, but political brokering is not the kind of persuasion he was thinking about.

I hope the President is a fast learner. He still has time to break some senator's legs, if necessary. And Israel is waiting in the wings.

Posted by: paultaylor1 | November 11, 2009 3:06 PM
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Et tu Sanjay?

Posted by: ozpunk | November 11, 2009 2:56 PM
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Daily Presidential Tracking Poll ...

.... if people think Obama is wandering out lost in Burned Out 60's anti-Vietnam War hippy land .. he may not get a lot passed!

Overall, 46% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President's performance. Fifty-three percent (53%) disapprove.


Posted by: highkey11 | November 11, 2009 2:46 PM
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You are calling Obama a poor salesman? You are talking about a man who has literally convinced a majority of a reluctant electorate to elect him - an African American - as President.This is laughable...;-) Obama knows exactly what he is doing. He was smart to learn the lessons of the Clinton Health care disaster- look where the strong leadership role you are advocating got the Clintons? In situations like this you keep your powder try until your opponents have spent all their ammunition. Then, and only then, do you pounce. And when you do it, you do it behind the scenes, just like Obama is doing right now. And that is exactly what is happening. After all the dust is settled, Obama will come out on top and get exactly what he is aiming for.

Posted by: Socrates800 | November 11, 2009 2:27 PM
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Obama seems to rely too much on his advisors.

He should be sending out stronger messages via the media.

He should stand his ground and let Congress do the compromising.

He should attack his attackers and stand by his allies.

He should revisit decisions and hires, never a bad idea to fire someone who is not a good fit.

Posted by: kkrimmer | November 11, 2009 2:03 PM
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