A Hard Look at Obama's Wasted Efforts at Bipartisanship

News & Politics

In the early days of his young presidency, President Obama has already accomplished a great deal, making a clean break from Bush on a variety of issues, signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and expanding the Children's Health Insurance Program. And in a few short days, he'll be putting his name to an economic recovery bill that will largely hew to the principles he laid out months ago.

In the midst of these accomplishments, there have been some wasted efforts. And most of those wasted efforts have come from a sincere -- but unwise -- attempt to ingratiate himself with uncompromising conservatives. Some examples:

- What Obama did: Trusted Judd Gregg when he indicated that, "despite past disagreements about policies, he would support, embrace and move forward with the president's agenda."

- What Obama got in return: A "change of heart" from Gregg, who said that he "couldn't be Judd Gregg" at Commerce.

- What Obama did: Reached out to have dinner with right-wing pundits Bill Kristol, Charles Krauthammer, and David Brooks.

- What Obama got in return: A ripping from his right-wing friends, who called it the worst in "galactic history."

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