How Obama Will Govern...His Way
First, let me say that the content of this blog will not be my own words, but rather those of President Barack Obama, from an article in National Journal Magazine.
As we have been discussing the pros and cons, successes and failures of bipartisanship, insight as to how President Obama views the process is fascinating. In the interview given aboard Air Force One, Obama tells us how he wants to govern; willing to be flexible about the process, but determined about the results that he wants to achieve. An excerpt from the article:
< After the trials and triumphs of his tumultuous first weeks, President Obama appears increasingly focused on ends, not means. In a conversation early Friday evening with a small group of columnists, Obama was flexible about tactics and unwavering in his goals. He signaled that he's open to consultation, compromise and readjusting his course to build inclusive coalitions, but fixed on the results he intends to produce. "My bottom line is not how pretty the process was," he said, looking back at the congressional fight over his economic recovery package. "My bottom line was: Am I getting help to people who need it?"
Obama spoke on Air Force One as he flew to Chicago for a three-day weekend. Just before he sat down, the House had approved his massive economic plan without a single Republican vote, just as when the plan initially cleared the chamber in January. While he talked, the Senate had begun the vote that would approve the package Friday night with support from just three Republicans.
Obama was relaxed, responsive and, as usual, seemed preternaturally calm and unruffled. He understandably celebrated his legislative victory; the scope of the economic plan and the speed of its approval were equally unprecedented. The plan funds the public investments (like scientific research, infrastructure and education) that Democrats consider essential to long-term growth with more new money than Washington has provided at one time since at least the 1960s and maybe the 1930s. And the vote demonstrated far more unity among congressional Democrats than Bill Clinton was able to generate for his economic agenda in 1993. "The end product is not 100 percent of what we would want," Obama said. "But I think it is a very good start on moving things forward.>