Former CIA Director and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta summed up Democrats’ criticism of President Obama to one simple sentence. The Washington Post,
Former CIA director Leon Panetta was on “Andrea Mitchell Reports” on MSNBC on Thursday for an extended interview about the critiques he lobs at President Obama in a new book entitled “Worthy Fights”. The most cutting — and perhaps most insightful — portion of the interview was when Panetta told Mitchell about his disagreement with Obama’s approach to politics. “Too often in my view the President relies on the logic of the law professor rather than the passion of a leader,” said Panetta.
That simple sentence encapsulates much of the criticism that I’ve heard from Congressional Democrats (as well as many in the activist community) about President Obama for years. (That similarity is not an accident; Panetta spent almost two decades in the 1970s and 1980s in Congress as a House member from California.) There is a sense that Obama believes that simply proposing his argument is enough to carry the day. That the nitty-gritty horse-trading of the sort past Democratic presidents like Lyndon Johnson and Bill Clinton were legendary for is simply anathema to how he views politics and his role in it.
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