Barack Obama as an Illinoisan who is also America's first African American president could be expected to be absorbed by Doris Kearns Goodwin's historical work on Lincoln, "Team of Rivals".
An impressive entry on Obama's student resume was serving as president of the Harvard Law Review. In that situation he needed to assume a collegial posture and weigh positions on issues regarding potential articles.
Obama has carried the aforementioned instances into an unrealistic expectation that as president he can deal in a Lincolnesque or Harvard Law Review context with the likes of Senator Mitch McConnell and Congressman John Boehner. The only way that historical significance has relevance is if there are enough common facts to establish viable comparison.
Republican Senate Minority Leader McConnell delivered a message after the recent midterm election that should have provided Obama with a strong enough indication to recognize that his grand objective of compromise in the national interest was no more than wishful thinking without practical merit. When analyzing what Republicans expected to realize in the next two years, McConnell stated bluntly that the goal was to make Obama a one term president.
Obama the optimist overlooked as hyperbole that devastating comment. In his apparent perceived view of the national interest he invited Republican leaders to dinner at the White House to discuss means by which mutual cooperation could serve America's best interest.
What happened? The Republicans were no shows. McConnell crassly explained that he and his colleagues did not have time to attend a White House dinner to speak with the leader of the opposition, who happened also to be the nation's chief executive.
Was such a snub really not Obama's fault? Would it be anything other than his administration's fault if nothing but turmoil and failure resulted from an alleged "compromise" on the order of what David Axelrod discussed recently wherein Democrats would allow Bush tax cuts to be extended?
Obama and Axelrod need a history lesson on the Democratic Party and its championing of the nation's middle class and poor. When Hoover-Coolidge Republicanism was dead for years and Dwight Eisenhower won two terms in the presidency through a moderate Republican philosophy in which he never considered tampering with New Deal-Fair Deal achievements, what was formerly known as the Republican Old Guard brought Ronald Reagan onto the scene, seeking to package him as a citizen reformer.