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Obama's Top Agenda Item? Health Care...Recession...Financial Regulation, or....

Samuel Staley
July 14, 2009, 11:11am

The Washington Post is reporting on Pres. Obama's return to the U.S. after a week focused on internatinal affairs. The President is engaged in aggressive, LBJ-style lobbying for health care reform. Here's the comment from the reporter that caught my eye:

"The tough talk in the Rose Garden gave way hours later to behind-the-scenes Lyndon B. Johnson-style lobbying, as Obama pledged in a pair of private meetings with Democratic lawmakers to stake his political capital on this year's top agenda item.

"I just want to put everybody on notice because there was a lot of chatter during the week that I was gone," he said. "Inaction is not an option."

So, this year's "top agenda item" is health care. I thought it was the economic recession. No, maybe it was financial regulation. Or perhaps Afghanistan. Or the automobile industry bailout.

Hmmm. A lot of agenda items seem to be making it to the "top" of the president's list. Once again, this is an indication of Obama's governing style: crisis politics. The question is how long he can do this and be effective.


Samuel Staley is Research Fellow


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