Scarborough: Obama Must Engage More With Republicans

Thursday, 06 Dec 2012 01:37 PM

By Dan Weil

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President Barack Obama is making a mistake by isolating himself during fiscal negotiations rather than meeting with Republicans, says Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program.

“If [House Speaker] John Boehner’s math skills are really so skewed, why not call a meeting to say that to his face?” Scarborough writes on Politico.

“With the whole world watching, he could then insist that Republicans take a more rational approach while appearing to take a more hands on approach. By meeting more regularly with the leader of the opposition, President Obama may also learn . . . that American government works best when political opponents build personal relationships.”

The president is the one that will ultimately suffer if he doesn’t bend, Scarborough says. “Mr. Obama’s penchant for personal isolation in a political system that demands the opposite will frame his presidency in the history books as one limited by his own personal isolation.”

That isolation would prevent Obama from getting anything done during the remainder of his presidency, Scarborough says. “No one in Washington should want the next four years to look anything like the last two — especially a lame duck president.”

Obama may win a brief political victory by blowing off Republicans, he writes. “But that victory will cost more than it’s worth. The damage done will not only be to the president’s legacy but also to the country he serves.”

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