Shock and Awe versus Aw Shucks: Taking Out the Bad Guys

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*+-John Peeler: Obama has set a major contrast in style and strategy with George W. Bush: he does not grandstand, he does not order massive military interventions. He doesn’t question Bush’s commitments, but he set up the rules of engagement and the negotiating positions to allow him to dial them back.

A President Standing In Quicksand

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*+-Joseph Palermo: Obama and the Democrats are in trouble politically not because they did too much to help hurting Americans, but because they did too little.

Big-Drama Obama

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*+-Brent Budowsky: The Truman metaphor is right for Obama, but it must presage a sustained battle for jobs, and not another brief theatrical scene in an incoherent drama with an inconclusive ending.

Separation Anxiety

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*+-Wendy Block: My worst long-range political nightmare is watching the next Republican president appoint even one Supreme Court justice (Go Ralph Nader for President in 2000!).

Wanted: A President Who is Tougher Than Terrycloth

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*+-Gil Troy: Presidential power also comes from the ability to reward and punish, to create careers and destroy others – demanding a ruthlessness in domestic politics Barack Obama has rarely displayed.