Why Obama's Trying to Do It All

White House aides explain president's big budget strategy
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2009 1:32 PM CST

(Newser) – Lately, pundits have been blasting Barack Obama for trying to do too much too quickly, but he might just know what he’s doing. White House aides, allies, and advisers clue Mike Allen of Politico into the president’s thinking:

  • He’ll never have more mojo—Obama thinks political capital is a use-it-or-lose-it proposition. He wants to wrack up victories early.
  • Bargain from strength—By making bold ideological proposals right away, he can bargain toward the center.

  • Be “the president who tried”—If he fails, he can blame others for obstructing him.
  • Try a lot of things—Even if only a couple work, you can claim victory.
  • Leverage the recession—Just as Bush used 9/11 to push through a once-unthinkable security agenda, so Obama invokes the economy for his proposals.
  • It’s what he said he’d do—Obama’s proposals closely reflect his campaign promises. He’s betting his election is an ideological mandate.