After the Democrats' drubbing in the midterm elections, President Obama needs to build some bridges, says Gerald F. Seib in The Wall Street Journal. If he doesn't forge constructive relationships with Republicans in Congress, moderates in his own party, and business leaders, he won't get much done in the next two years. But "reaching out in multiple directions is a tough job," Seib says, and Obama could use help from someone like former Reagan White House chief of staff Kenneth Duberstein. Here's an excerpt:
In his tenuous post-election condition, President Barack Obama finds himself on a political island, no longer linked to the comfortable Democratic majorities in Congress that served as his lifeline for two years.
To exit from that island, he needs to build bridges to three groups: Republican leaders in both houses of Congress, moderate Democrats in the congressional rank and file, and the business community. Such bridges don't simply materialize. They have to be built, and the White House could use a respected figure from the outside to help. ...
In today's polarized Washington, such figures are rare — but they do exist.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- In defense of Gwyneth Paltrow
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
- Republicans love this new health care plan. Too bad it's basically a tax cut for the rich.
- Alien conspiracy theorists think the government is on the verge of spilling big secrets
- 8 tricks to surviving the holidays without gaining weight or being grouchy
Subscribe to the Week