Monday, February 07, 2011

Obama, Not Wishing To Offend

Sarah Palin probably is not far to the right of the other possible aspirants for the Repub nomination for president. Whatever their true beliefs, all Republicans now must adhere to a strict, very conservative line.

It's more that the ex-Alaska governor is not very presidential. It's difficult to imagine in the Oval Office someone who has remarked

Where’s the S’mores ingredients? This is in honor of Michelle Obama, who said the other day that we should not have dessert.

Would-be presidents really should not be criticizing the food choices of the First Lady of the U.S.A., or even commenting about it. Really, someone hoping to be considered for leadership of the nation burnishes his or her image more by evaluating economic policy, or defense spending, or the tax squeeze on the middle class (or on the upper class, which more concerns Republicans). Even denouncing same-sex marriage is more high-minded than misquoting the President's wife.

Fortunately, we have a president who is an adult, serious, and unafraid of demonstrating leadership. Yes, we have a president who, in his statement to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce this morning, commented

I'm here in the interest of being more neighborly. Maybe we would have gotten off on a better foot if I had brought over a fruitcake when we first moved in.

Brought over a fruitcake when we first moved in. This is the 44th President of the United States, the leader of the Free World, and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces when called into action.

Of course, it would not matter if this were a mere throwaway line, something which would soften up a business community generally antithetical to Democratic presidents, which barely applies to Barack Obama. But it seems- no, it does- reflect the President's approach to the business community: oh, pretty please, I promise to be even nicer in the future (if you in turn will keep the campaign cash coming). One side is playing hardball.

In an interview with the Associated Press, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donahue recently lectured the President:

What's changed now? I would use four words. The election has changed.

Except that before last fall's election, Business Week reported that the Chamber's chief lobbyist

was certain of this much: The President's change agenda was history. There would be nothing like the Affordable Health Choices Act, no more Keynesian spending. "He is going to have to operate differently," Josten said.

Josten did offer a consolation prize: He had suggestions about ways the newly humbled White House could cut some deals with the GOP and still find some legislative victories.

One side is playing hardball. The other side is perusing the Internet for fruitcake recipes.

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