President Barack Obama has shown a determined lack of flexibility on issues such as the fiscal cliff, and if he doesn’t adopt a more cooperative attitude, he is doomed to failure, says Republican strategist Karl Rove.
“The president is acting as if compromise and concession are signs of weakness, and as if the country welcomes political conflict because through it, he can bend Congress to his will,” Rove writes in The Wall Street Journal.
“This is not how Washington works, especially in a president's second term. If Mr. Obama persists in this approach, then his second term — like many of his predecessors' — may be difficult and contentious, only sooner than usual.”
While Obama doesn’t have to worry about running again, even Democrats in Congress don’t have to worry about being beholden to him again.
“Mr. Obama will discover that presidential power and influence in a second term is almost always less than in the first,” Rove states.
Obama already showed dismissiveness toward any criticism when Republicans registered their dissent with the idea of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice being chosen secretary of state.
“Mr. Obama was defiant, saying her critics ‘should go after me,’” Rove writes. Fortunately for Obama, she withdrew on her own.
And now the president is floating the idea of naming former Sen. Chuck Hagel defense secretary, even though he is unpopular with Republicans and Democrats alike, Rove says.
“Mr. Obama's second term is not fated to fail, but it is likely to be more challenging than his first. Success requires adjustments, including a greater willingness to compromise and to seek common ground with his opposition.”
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