After Big Promises, Has Obama Gone Soft?

Prez seems quite willing to compromise—"even capitulate"
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 19, 2009 7:43 AM CDT
President Barack Obama smiles during a working session of the 5th Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, Saturday April 18, 2009.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
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(Newser) – During the campaign, President Obama promised sweeping changes and a new way of doing things in Washington—but in the Oval Office, he’s been noticeably willing to compromise, write David Herszenhorn and Jackie Calmes in the New York Times. While he’s not dropping his chief concerns, “The thing we still don’t know about him is what he is willing to fight for,” says a Clinton Treasury official.

“It’s hard to think of a place where he’s taken a really hard position,” the former official says. That includes letting Congress “effectively kill” his plan to slice farm subsidies, concessions on veterans’ health costs and social security, and not pushing a renewal of a federal assault weapons ban, the Times notes. But citing a series of victories, aides say Obama’s not relenting—he’s being his usual “pragmatic” self.