The left and the right want Obama to lead

I had the most delightful and invigorating time Friday morning participating in a roundtable on Sirius’ The New School hosted by Charles Ellison. Guy Benson of The Guy Benson Show and Lauren Burke, blogger at the 42 Crew were also on the call.

Lauren, who approaches from the left of the political spectrum and Guy, who approaches from the right, appeared to agree that we are seeing no leadership on the part of President Obama. The right believes his lack of leadership is reflected by a budget proposal that does not address budget busters such as Medicaid and Medicare. The left believe that Mr. Obama’s abandonment of certain safety items in the budget such as home energy assistance programs leaves much to be desired.

As I pointed out Friday, there should be no surprise about Mr. Obama’s tactic. He punted to Congress during the health care legislation debate by merely offering a framework while Pelosi and company filled in the blanks. Should we really expect more detail from his budget proposal?

What Mr. Obama has now is another excuse to sit in the middle. He will let the House and Senate come up with their fiscal year 2012 concurrent resolution dollar limits for the budget, which are due in early April. Meanwhile, with a March 4th deadline looming on emergency funding for the remainder of fiscal year 2011, Mr. Obama has an opportunity to show that the GOP has an issue with leading on fiscal matters also.

About Alton Drew

Alton Drew brings a straight forward and insightful brand of political market intelligence. Alton Drew graduated from the Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in economics and political science (1984); a Master of Public Administration (1993); and a Juris Doctor (1999). You can also follow Alton Drew on Twitter @altondrew.
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One Response to The left and the right want Obama to lead

  1. Kenneth Ciszewski says:

    Considering the fact that some members of the GOP Congress made it plain that their sole objective and plan was to make sure President Obama was a one term president, and that they even were against the plan to require everyone to buy health care coverage (which as I understand it, was originally a Republican idea), President Obama surely knew that anything he suggested would immediately be disregarded. There were also complaints from the GOP that they had not been allowed to participate in the health care bill creation, even though President Obama sat a number of the GOP Congressional leaders around a table and talked to them directly, solicited their input, and even explained how the proposed bill incorporated many of their ideas.

    Rather than dictate terms, Obama did indeed provide a framework, and let Congress work out the details. Sometimes, the best leadership is delegating a task to those who want to/need to be involved in the performance of that task.

    As you rightly point out, President Obama can let the GOP shoot themselves in the foot by allowing a government shutdown. Bill Clinton did quite well with this tactic.

    Sometimes, a direct attack on a problem doesn’t work. Sometimes, indirect methods work better. That is also a leadership decision.

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