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Somehow, I doubt this approach is going to work. Obama won an overwhelming mandate, I wish he’d start acting like it.
Can the shrill tone of Washington be changed through a presidential act of contrition? Or, perhaps, an enticing platter of oatmeal raisin cookies? This week, President Obama has already served up both at the White House.
To one set of visitors, a gathering of Democratic and Republican members of Congress whom he invited to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday, he carried around the freshly baked cookies as he mingled with his guests. To another set of visitors, the five broadcast and cable television anchors he invited to the Oval Office on Tuesday, he extended a blunt mea culpa and said he took responsibility for nominating aides with tax troubles.
With two weeks of the presidency now under his belt, both of these cases offer a window into how Mr. Obama may try to build relationships — and dispatch controversies — during his time in office. Since the inauguration, one of the hottest tickets in town has been an invitation to the White House. And Republicans have been scoring them nearly as often as Democrats.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:
A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.
Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”