“I sit here all day trying to persuade people to do the things they ought to have sense enough to do without my persuading them,” Harry Truman once lamented. “That’s all the powers of the President amount to.”
As usual, the plain-speaking Truman got it right: presidential power is the power to persuade. Too bad the current occupant of the White House has never learned this basic lesson.
Barack Obama’s refusal to negotiate with the Republicans in Congress on the government shutdown is proof once again that he doesn’t understand the first thing about presidential leadership.
Strangely enough, this one-time constitutional lawyer fails to grasp the fact that the president of the United States does not obtain results by giving orders.