Forget It, Dems: Obama's No LBJ

President doesn't have LBJ's deal-making skills
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2010 1:22 AM CST
President Lyndon Baines Johnson addresses the nation on his first Thanksgiving Day television program, broadcast from the executive offices of the White House in 1963.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – People are urging President Obama to start acting like Lyndon Johnson, but the president isn't going to suddenly turn into LBJ any more than the 2,000-page health care bill will turn into the 4-page Civil Rights Act LBJ muscled through as Senate majority leader in 1957, writes Daniel Henninger. Johnson got the act through with a "mind-boggling effort of legislative politics" that Obama can't match, Henninger writes in the Wall Street Journal.

LBJ, in contrast to Obama, put his energies into assembling difficult alliances and accepted that compromise and incremental change were necessary to get the job done. "The idea that Obama should become LBJ, even in the glare of modern media, reveals how other-worldly our politics has become," Henninger writes. "Only a dilettante would believe a Barack Obama can walk in off the street and be an LBJ.

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