Obama’s Skillz

Politico notes that Obama seems to be skating through Republican Rage. Here are eleven reasons Obama has so far been successful in managing the various thunderstorms around his presidency.

1) Don’t spend political capital on losing battles. Gun control is a losing battle. The “fairness doctrine” is a losing battle. Don’t fret or worry about it.
2) Let others spend their political capital first. For example, let the army spend political capital on same-sex marriages. Get outside organizations to make suggestions first.
3) Enact “low hanging fruit.” Change policies that don’t require a lot of input from outside bodies or authorities. Structure internal procedures differently. This opens up spaces for political action to change.
4) Have a clear sense of role. The president isn’t going to pass legislation. The president can change executive orders. Sometimes all the president is doing is shaking hands. Other times the executive is describing a vision.
5) Stay cool. Michell Malkin likes to get hot and wants the president to declare “we don’t negotiate with terrorists.” In the movies, that’s a great sentiment. But as Obama notes:
6) Success speaks louder than words.
7) State the vision, loudly, forcefully.
8) Speak their language. This means talking the language of responsibility and caring; not just numbers. He speaks as “compassionate conservatives” spoke, with authority.
9) No permanent enemies. It’s just politics. He listens, though he might not agree.
10) Be conservative, until work needs to be done. For example, don’t legalize pot until there is a practical opening for change. Work within the institutions available. The “conservative temperament” looks like a virtue peculiar to our time and age: patience.
11) Obama does his homework.

Obama is the master gardener-politician of our age. He is right now, just planting the seeds he can. His style will be the model for leadership for many generations.