The Washington Post

Obama's political acumen has sharpened with experience

The president is flexing his political muscles, and he looks pretty buff right now.

His political acumen has sharpened with experience. Instead of playing an inside Washington game, as he did last year, where the vocabulary of the debate was abstract and the terms often set by others, Obama is taking his campaign for debt reduction to the American people, using the formidable skills of his campaign apparatus.

Instead of abstractions like “grand bargain” and “fiscal cliff,” Obama is framing the first decision on reducing the debt in simple terms. Who should shoulder new taxes? The middle class or the wealthy?

Many Republicans have gotten his message and are breaking their pledge to never raise taxes. The import of this should not be underestimated; this is a party that hasn't forgotten the beating it took when Bush Sr. broke his “read my lips” pledge.

It may have been a necessary tactical retreat to allow for a regroup, but it is a significant retreat nonetheless.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
This isn't your daddy's gun club
A look inside the world of Candomblé
It's in the details: Five ways to enhance your kitchen makeover
Play Videos
A fighter pilot helmet with 360 degrees of sky
The rise and fall of baseball cards
Is fencing the answer to brain health?
Play Videos
John Lewis, 'Marv the Barb' and the politics of barber shops
How to prevent 'e-barrassment'
The art of tortilla-making
Play Videos
Circus nuns: These sisters are no act
How hackers can control your car from miles away
How the new credit card chip makes purchases more secure