The comparison of then Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama to Franklin Delano Roosevelt at the height of the presidential campaign was hyped, overblown and made mostly to sell magazines, puff up TV pundit sound bites, and by a few carried away with themselves Democratic party campaign boosters. Though undoubtedly flattered by it, candidate Obama did not encourage the comparison to FDR.
This writer as countless others the first months after inauguration did more than just hope that President Obama would inch toward looking and acting like FDR. We relentlessly pushed, prodded, and hectored him to lurch in that direction. There were many days of bitter frustration and disappointment, punctuated by loud grumbling of betrayal.
Obama as FDR knew that he was in a political life and death, take no prisoners war with his political enemies-- the GOP, ultra conservative Democrats, Wall Street, the big bankers and big manufacturers. But unlike FDR for months he soft peddled, coddled, and placated his opponents even as they made absolutely no effort to mask their loath of his policies and presidency, and made it abundantly clear they will stop at nothing to hound him from office. FDR, by contrast, hit back hard at his enemies as obstructionists and economic royalists. He never wavered from his commitment that the workers and farmers, the "common man" came first.
Now President Obama has done the same. His in the trenches fight back started when he admitted what everyone knew and that's that making nice with the GOP and making futile appeals to them for bi-partisanship sounds good in White House interviews and Congressional speeches but in the ruthless party eat party world of real politick it's a surefire prescription for an ineffectual, moribund, and hapless presidency, not to mention ridicule as a president sans spine.
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