For Obama, Populist Fighting Is 'Suicide'

He's a conciliator, and he looks fake trying otherwise: David Brooks
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 25, 2011 10:30 AM CDT
President Barack Obama waves as he boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., yesterday.   (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

(Newser) – With trust in government at an all-time low and independent voters identifying with Republicans over Democrats by a two-to-one margin, it's "suicide" for President Obama to try being a partisan fighter, writes David Brooks in the New York Times. Obama was elected to be a conciliator, not a fighter, and trying to be a fighter makes him seem as inauthentic as he accuses Mitt Romney of being.

"Obama would be wiser to champion a Grand Bargain strategy," says Brooks. Instead of populism, the president should use the congressional budget "supercommittee" to push for a broad platform that both parties can agree to. "Lower the ideological atmosphere and get everybody thinking concretely about the real choices facing the nation," he writes. (Just, er, never mind that the supercommittee is apparently foundering badly).

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