THE GROFF/ELLISON POLITICAL REPORT

Obama as “Game Changer” …

Posted in Uncategorized by groffellison on January 16, 2009

images3We’re already seeing dramatic signs of a different kind of presidency and we can say, with certainty, that Obama will do the exact opposite of his predecessor. Based on what we’ve seen during the transition, he appears set on a total paradigm shift, more so than a game-change. A game-change still implies a touch of the old Washington, supporting the cynical notion of modern American politics as petty and destructive. Obama desires a new tone and is eager to rebuild public trust in government. His shift encourages pragmatism over ideology and partisanship – to him, it’s not about what sounds good or what’s the better argument. Instead, his governing approach will rely on what – he believes – works.

Hence, we are witnessing rather simple, yet extraordinary political events we haven’t seen in quite some time. Casual dinners with adversaries; meetings with Congressional rivals for input; even a Washington Hilton dinner in honor of McCain is unprecedented, yet it holds all the elements of real class and humility. Even his public strolls through D.C. are a far departure from the fortress mentality of the outgoing President. These are carefully and politically choreographed events to craft the image of a public, transparent and open President willing to consider different perspectives.

Obama’s ability to change the tone in Washington rests with his greatest asset: communication. He will aggressively govern through buy-in and consensus – or, at least, the impression of such. The American public could witness the greatest era of civic education and involvement since the Civil Rights Movement. The reward in this could be a Presidency in which all stakeholders feel involved; the risk is the potential of naysayers, critics and enemies to take perceived kindness for weakness. Still, what many fail to assess is the rather shrewd political mastermind that is Barack Obama – those who challenge him must come correct or, otherwise, beware.

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One Response

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  1. King Politics said, on January 20, 2009 at 12:24 am

    Looking at his governing style as a paradigmatic shift is interesting. Only, in retrospect, we’ll know for sure how successful this style is. Although, the 2010 midterm elections, as always, will serve as a two-year referendum. As long as he uses his first six months carefully, the potential for true change looms large.


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