Obama doesn't grasp the essentials of presidential leadership the way Reagan did

Establishing a new governing philosophy, in other words, would require sustained public argument — something for which Reagan had an abiding instinct. Even in private sessions with Democrats, Reagan relished vigorous arguments about the welfare state. This was much to the annoyance of then House Speaker Tip O’Neill, who just wanted to cut deals.

Reagan never attempted to stifle debate by saying “I won.” The IAP noted that President Jimmy Carter “failed to realize that leadership means more than ‘laying it all out;’ it also means keeping at it.” Like Mr. Carter, Mr. Obama seems peeved that Washington won’t roll over for him.

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