Monday, January 26, 2009

Which Obama Will Govern?

Barack Obama took the oath of office last week to become the nation's 44th president since the adoption of the U.S. Constitution. Now the question becomes which Obama will govern? He ran as a true leftist in the primaries, but moved to run as a centrist in the general election. During the campaign, I tended to believe the former as it was more consistent with his limited record. But it is also possible he has learned through the campaign process, and maybe since. It's also true that actually becoming president often changes people as the true scale of their new responsibilities becomes apparent.

To find out which Obama will govern, we'll have to wait to find out how he acts in office. Only firm actions will show. And, so far — already, there's been enough in his actions to piss off anyone who's been paying attention. He has appointed moderates and socialists (affiliation, not assessment). He has signed executive orders that people of different viewpoints have been able to interpret in radically different ways. So the bottom line is we still don't know.

Trying to be all things to all people makes a lot of people feel good, and a lot of others feel frustrated. The danger is it may end up coming across like trying to fool all the people all the time.

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