This “tug and pull,” as Mr. Axelrod called it, has presented a challenge because the president is intent on getting his arms around the enormous problems facing the nation. The political instincts that served Mr. Obama well in his campaign faced new tests after he conceded last week that he had made a mistake by pushing the nomination of Tom Daschle to champion health care.
So Pres. Obama wants to understand the nation's problems, but doesn't have time because he has to go stump for the so-called "stimulus". One might say (simplistically) that he's selling solutions rather than solving problems.
This is what has always scared me about Pres. Obama: that in any real crisis, he would rely primarily on his personal charisma rather than any fundamental problem-solving ability. Granted charisma is a fine asset, and can be used to foster cooperation and unity. But that's not what's needed now. Pres. Obama allowed Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid to drive the stimulus bill, and their incompetence ruined it. Now the President is stuck selling a lemon. Can he do it?
I hope not.