Obama’s lengthy exchange with Republicans yesterday was pretty impressive. You may not agree with his answers, but you have to admit he’s got quite a grasp of the issues. He’s a smart guy, and has thought deeply about issues long before becoming President (as “The Audacity of Hope” shows). We need more of this kind of exchange. Need to get the Republicans engaged in governing (which the Dems in Congress seem to have no interest in doing).
The ability to pull off an exchange like happened yesterday is not a necessity in a President. Ronald Reagan couldn’t have done what Obama did yesterday, but he was most definitely a leader.
All things considered, I think Bill Clinton could have done it even better. He was as bright and obsessively immersed in issues as Obama, but not as…prickly? He would have turned on the famous Clinton charm, which Obama possesses in a smaller amount and which is usually hidden beneath his innate aloofness.