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Obama can't have his bipartisan cake and eat it too

Business Times - 18 Feb 2009


Obama can't have his bipartisan cake and eat it too

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

DURING the 2008 election campaign, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama pledged that as president he would usher in a new era of 'post-partisan' politics in Washington.

This was seen as a commitment by the young and change-oriented Mr Obama to bridge the partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans by, not only bringing members of the opposition party into his cabinet, but also by fashioning a legislative and policy strategy that would be acceptable to the majority of Democratic and Republican lawmakers.

Many Americans shared Mr Obama's revulsion over the partisan gridlock in Washington that makes it difficult to pass critical legislation on Capitol Hill, and as a result, constrains the ability of the White House and Congress to reach compromises on hard choices that are necessary to reform the American political and economic systems. For…