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Slade Gorton
Political leader

Slade Gorton

A former U.S. Senator and Washington State Attorney General, Slade Gorton served on the 9/11 Commission.

Take the congressional lead

Most surprising, and, I think, most damaging to the Obama presidency has been his passive approach to the details of his own agenda. From his first day in office, when he ceded the details of the stimulus bill to Speaker Pelosi, through climate change, health care and even banking legislation, the bills have been written by the most liberal of the Congressional barons and the president has affected the details only around the edges.

And when he has done so his contribution has often been a negative one: see, for example, the deal with the unions on health care insurance taxes. The net result was Massachusetts on Tuesday.

The president is still more popular than what are perceived to be his policies. If he wishes to turn failure into success, he must lead the Democrats in Congress, not follow them.

By Slade Gorton

 |  January 21, 2010; 8:15 AM ET
Category:  Presidential leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Yup, this is his biggest problem. If Obama is going to promise health care, he must LEAD on health care. If he is only promising to sign whatever shows up on his desk, he needs to clarify that.

Posted by: msully25 | January 21, 2010 11:46 AM
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Mr. Gorton, you're assessment is right on target. Obama has proven he is not a leader. He's an overseer, a cheerleader, a mere spectator. It is thoroughly disappointing. He champions nothing of substance, he demands nothing, he offers only platitudes and generalizations. The People are wondering, where is the idealist who talked such a great game during the 2008 election cycle? He has proven to be a paper tiger, with a mouthpiece attached. To borrow a line from the Wizard of Oz, "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!" If Obama wishes to emerge as a true president, he will have to take charge, command the terms of legislation, bend arms to the breaking point (otherwise known as political hardball) and demonstrate he is determining the course of history.

Posted by: seve2yoo | January 21, 2010 10:27 AM
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