Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Defining Obama's Presidency

I'm sure many a reader will slide their eyes across that headline and think, "Defining his Presidency? He just got elected!" Well, hear me out on this. He will have a choice once in office. He can be the conduit for pent up liberal/progessive momentum, or he can be his own man, a leader. If chooses the former, and I fear that he will, his presidency will be a disaster. If he chooses the latter, however, he may just have a chance at a second term and a positive presidency.

Love him or hate him, Bill Clinton was more "his own man" than "conduit," and because of that, history will neither relegate him to the dustbin nor label his presidency a net negative, despite his flaws and errors. Obama has a much tougher road ahead of him than Clinton did during our vacation from history. Thus, he needs to be his own man, a leader, and a significantly better one than Clinton.

This isn't to say that it would be a presidency that conservatives would at all be pleased with. It is just to say that he can find a way to avoid being the next Jimmy Carter, and that way is by leading without giving away too much of his influence to the netroots.

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