Bob Herbert gets it right:
Listening to President Obama, I was struck by how well he understands that most voters are not driven by ideology and are not searching for politically orthodox leadership. Most want leaders who speak to their needs — especially in this time of economic crisis — and a government that works.
Republicans in Congress — all but completely united in their effort to build a wall of obstruction in the path of President Obama’s economic revitalization effort — seem to be missing this essential point.
In a conversation with a small group of columnists aboard Air Force One on Friday, the president discussed the fight over his stimulus package, which was in the process of gaining final passage as he flew from Washington to Chicago for a brief rest with his family.
But he made a point of adding, “Now, I have to say that given that they were running the show for a pretty long time prior to me getting there, and that their theory was tested pretty thoroughly and it’s landed us in the situation where we’ve got over a trillion-dollars’ worth of debt and the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression, I think I have a better argument in terms of economic thinking.”
He also made it clear that he won’t let his desire for bipartisanship undermine important initiatives. “I’m an eternal optimist,” he said. “That doesn’t mean I’m a sap.”