Former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer (R-LA), appeared on Weekends with Alex Witt opining on what presidents need to be effective. Mr. Roemer cited freedom from money in politics and freedom from special interests as necessary for any president to be independent to lead.
What Mr. Roemer failed to mention was that any president will also need freedom from their respective parties. Parties, while having seen a decline in their influence over elections, still provide an efficient mechanism for slating candidates and can leverage voter affiliation to get voters to the booth.
The problem is that party platforms may be out of sync with practicality. December 2010 saw Mr. Obama make a jagged move to the middle on tax cuts for small businesses when Democrats were hoping for a little more aggressive posture on jacking up taxes on rich people. Had Mr. Obama stayed left versus moving center, he may have found himself in a much tighter race with Messrs. Gingrich and Romney.
So how should a president free themselves from special interest money and party politics? How soon should they make a run for the middle once they become president?