When I first met with Mr. Clinton following the devastating 1994 mid-term election, he put it to me this way:

“I’m way out of position. I was elected as a centrist, and now I’m perceived as a liberal Democrat. I’ve got to change that, and I’ve got to put some space between myself and Congress.”

And change that we did — with a bold new agenda that included a balanced budget that protected Medicare and Medicaid, protection of the environment, frank acknowledgement of the limits of government, bi-partisan welfare reform and tough anti-crime legislation…

Mr. Obama needs to deliver a bold new speech and set a new agenda for the country — not engage in platitudes and abstract principles. With a new, centrist agenda, and an outreach to Republican minorities in the House and the Senate — along the lines that he promised during the 2008 campaign — Mr. Obama can turn around his political standing and give the American people the policy initiatives they have been expecting since Inauguration Day.