Obama Has to Learn the Art of Schmoozing

Two analyses say his aversion to it could hurt in new Congress
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 25, 2010 11:15 AM CST
President Obama smiles prior to signing repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – President Obama is apparently going to have to learn how to schmooze. Both the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times weigh in today on that similar theme given the new realities in Washington.

  • Post: Obama arguably has a "schmooze deficit," writes Anne Kornblut, who sees signs that he's trying to overcome his natural aversion to the practice. (A golf date with John Boehner has even been floated.) He'll never be on par with the master, Bill Clinton, but unless he's pushed to open up—"he just doesn't like being with people who he doesn't necessarily know," says one adviser—his agenda could suffer. Full story here.

  • LA Times: It notes his penchant for relying almost exclusively on longtime friends and aides—it lists the "big four" as Valerie Jarrett, David Axelrod, Robert Gibbs, and Pete Rouse—and says, like the Post, that this strategy is a "reflection of the Obama temperament." He likes familiarity, but "Democratic allies and even some White House officials are hoping he doesn't lean too far in this direction, creating an insular presidency." Full story here.

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