Wednesday 18 Jul 2018 | 07:40 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 18 Jul 2018 | 07:40 | SYDNEY

Reader riposte: Obama letting Bush dangle?


Sam Roggeveen


10 November 2008 14:44

Pete Speer writes in regard to the conversation Michael Fulllilove and I had on Saturday about President-elect Obama's first press conference (my comment follows):

In looking at and listening to the president-elect's first press conference, I found an unfortunate stream running through it. He will let the president continue to dangle through this economic crisis until the inauguration. I have a much greater sense of urgency. If there is to be bipartisanship, waiting that long is not the correct answer. Senator Obama needs to push hard on joint solutions to be implemented as soon as possible. The crisis is with us now. 

It may be that the incumbent refuses to cooperate, but there is no indication that this is so. Obama had the bully pulpit, a complaisant press attending and did not use it. That is partisanship of the worst kind. The problem will grow larger and be even harder to solve in January. 

I dunno, Pete, that seems a bit tough on Obama. You're right that Obama refused to say that he would defer to President Bush if the two disagreed, and you could characterise that as leaving Bush to 'dangle'. But Obama was elected on a particular platform, parts of which may clash with Bush's ideas. Are you saying Obama should just fall into line behind the President? That would be quite an affront to those who voted for Obama.

The whole concept of bipartisanship is over-rated, anyway. The winners get to govern; the losers should (loyally) oppose.