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January 23rd, 2009
11:59 PM ET

A great start, many questions

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more from David Gergen on AC360° at 10pm ET.

David Gergen | Bio
AC360° Contributor
CNN Senior Political Analyst

In his first three working days in office, Barack Obama has seized the reins of presidential power in smooth, almost flawless fashion. Whether that will be enough to conquer the forces arrayed against him, however, remains very much open to question.

On the economy, his most urgent challenge, he has followed up quickly on transition planning by bringing in bipartisan leaders of Congress today and will soon hold a special meeting with Congressional Republicans alone. One of the first mistakes of some past presidents has been to dismiss the concerns of the opposition. Because Obama has gone far beyond tradition, GOP leaders left the White House this morning endorsing his call to have a stimulus bill by the President’s Day recess in February.

Even so, chances remain high that the President’s economic plans will hit serious snags in Congress and even if passed, may not work. Democrats in the House, where partisanship has been rancorous, seem little inclined to seek a truly bipartisan stimulus bill, as Obama has wanted. And while some Senate Democrats are trying to re-craft the House bill to make it more pleasing to Republicans, others like Dick Durbin are now airily saying that it makes little difference how many Republicans sign on. (Perhaps they are taking a cue from Obama himself, who reportedly made it clear to the GOP at the White House today that he was in charge of negotiations because “I won”.) If partisan attitudes take hold on both sides, Obama can kiss off his hopes of getting dozens of Republicans on board in the House and more than 20 Republicans in the Senate – and in turn, the bipartisanship he needs on TARP, Detroit, and many other bills to come will be progressively tougher.

An even larger concern is whether the stimulus package will truly work but instead, as columnists Paul Krugman and David Brooks worry about in the New York Times today, will be too slow and too filled with pork, leading to scandals down the road. The Obama team promised Congressional leaders today that 75 percent of the bill would be pumped into the economy within two years and that they would impose strict oversight. We shall see. So far, one of the biggest questions hanging over the new administration is its managerial capacity. A typical comment in D.C.: They have wondrous all-stars on board, but where are the managers? And where are the CEOs who know how to make things happen in the business world? Insiders will be watching closely as this economic saga unfolds.

Meanwhile, Obama has also gotten off to a near textbook start in foreign policy. In quick succession, he is unwinding the Bush policies and approaches that have drawn intense criticism both at home and abroad: Iraq, Guantanamo, torture, the Middle East, and the centrality of the State Department more generally. By fulfilling his campaign promises so quickly, Obama is increasing public confidence in his international leadership – something that could have a spill-over effect in bolstering confidence in his economic plans, as well.

For critics of the Bush years – and that includes many mainstream foreign policy players - yesterday was as close to perfect as one can imagine. Not only did the President reverse policies on Guantanamo but he did so carefully by setting up a six-month review to ensure that the process of shutting it down and settling the future of detainees does not unleash a bunch of red-hot terrorists (example: the former Gitmo detainee who has emerged as the deputy leader of Al Qaeda in Yemen).

Moreover, the President and Vice President both went to the State Department on the first day that Hillary Clinton was there as Secretary of State, signaling to Foreign Service officers, demoralized by budget cuts and marginalization in recent years, that they will be central to his international policies in coming years. As one who worked briefly at State during the Clinton years, I can personally attest that this kind of attention will be a huge shot in the arm among career officers.

Then, too, Obama and Clinton announced yesterday the appointment of two superior diplomats as special envoys: George Mitchell to the Middle East, Richard Holbrooke to Afghanistan and Pakistan. How good are they? Well, each of them has been a serious candidate to be Secretary of State in his own right. Had Hillary Clinton been sworn in as President this week, it is highly likely that Holbrooke would have been her choice as SecState. Mitchell and Holbrooke were responsible for two of Bill Clinton’s biggest successes, the first in negotiating peace in Northern Ireland, the other in negotiating a settlement in Bosnia. Remember that George W. Bush didn’t pay much attention to the Middle East at first and always rejected the idea of a special envoy there. Obama has jumped in feet first in his first 72 hours on the job.

Still, the question remains: will these early moves by Obama actually start to put out the fires in these parts of the world? We won’t know for a long time – and until he makes some very tough calls that could go awry. Will the Clinton-Mitchell team pressure Israel to make major concessions, as Israeli conservatives now fear, and if so, will Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran and Syria call off their terror tactics? Can anyone put all the genies back in the bottle? No one knows.

And then again, there are the growing questions about how well the Obama administration can manage itself. From afar, the lines of authority among the White House, Clinton, Mitchell and Holbrooke seem very tangled. Who will manage all these heavyweights who have minds and egos of their own? His staff says that Obama can do it, but isn’t that what they say about managing his economic team, too?

So, even as he wins deserved praise for his smooth start as President, more questions than answers are swirling around Barack Obama. He seems to understand them and, still a surprise, he also seems to remain totally confident about the future. We have all started a crucial journey.

soundoff (203 Responses)
  1. Jane Virginia

    Thank you, David Gergen....I am so happy to see President Obama following through immediately with campaign promises and also to hear him remind everyone they are there to represent the people of this country! How refreshing and inspiring.....We all know there are tough days ahead for everyone and I, for one, am glad we have such an intelligent, globally- aware President taking the reins.

    January 23, 2009 at 11:30 pm |
  2. Steve Curtis

    the first step to fix the economic mess is to fix the loans. Ultimately the ONLY way that will happen is to give EVERYONE with a loan the option to go to a 40 yr fixed rate loan at less than 4%. Fixes toxic loans, creates bank lquidity, provides additional spendable cash by reducing house payments for those who are current... and to provide $$$ to renters provide an incentive of $175 / mo for 10 years.

    January 23, 2009 at 11:24 pm |
  3. Robin

    Please encourage everyone to stop using the term "the decider." We have had enough of uneducated politicians. I am distressed to hear CNN commentators refering to the President as "the new decider." You should be promoting education, notignorance.

    January 23, 2009 at 11:20 pm |
  4. Alex California

    David,

    First of all, let me congratulate your for your "always" impartial opinions on CNN.

    I agree that the Obama's transition has been nearly flawless, with some unanticipated snafus such as the redo swearing, and growing GOP friction to his financial plan.

    Also, the two envoy appointments are absolutely brilliant. However, where is the envoy to deal with illegal immigration, instability in Central America (Ortega), Colombia's narco-guerrilla insurgency, Venezuela's (Chavez) march toward communism with Bolivia (Morales), not to mention Cuba?

    America south of the border has been basically ignored by the Bush administration, but where is Obama's strategy in this hemisphere?

    January 23, 2009 at 11:19 pm |
  5. rick

    dear anderson...why did your congress give such a green light to all the big banks but gave the auto makers such a harder time..its pathetic to see such ignorance to tax payers money..there should be arrests made in congress for fraud...rick from canada

    January 23, 2009 at 11:16 pm |
  6. Far

    One should also consider that the whole point of presidency is not about being bipartisan . Obama is the president and for him to say i won on his inauguration , well he did.

    January 23, 2009 at 11:12 pm |
  7. Seve Nelson

    Our President is a wise man and mindful of the realities he faces. Profound change will be slow. Our mess in the world was not created in a day, nor will it be solved in a day. Does anyone really think things change in three days? And, by the way, it's the economy stupid, the world economy.

    January 23, 2009 at 11:09 pm |
  8. Dennis. Reno, NV

    I have a great idea to suggest to the President: Create an anonymous hot-line or something similar on-line, to receive reports from government employees about whether their offices spend inappropriately in times like these. I think Mr. Obama needs to become a version of a Dictator for this country to come back and He needs to show to this country that times of corruption and careless spendings are over...

    January 23, 2009 at 11:08 pm |
  9. Christopher

    What a horrendous first 3 days... not to mention a string of flawed cabinet selections as the disagreeable appetizer!

    How about this sublime combination of humor and stupidity:

    Let's select a man for the Treasury position (Geithner), who, only upon Obama's "vetting" had to pay nearly $43,000 in back taxes and penalties! And this is the guy who will be in charge of running the IRS! Er....WHAT?

    What's next? A defense secretary who doesn't know how to shoot a gun? A Secretary of State who can't stop her husband from.... oops... Obama's bad!

    Todays Obama prestidigitation: "Shhhhhhh... I'm hunting wabbits. Maybe those pwo-lifers won't notice that we just opened their wallets to pay for over-seas abortion services! "

    The CHANGE/HOPE lemmings have come home to DC to roost. Gawd help us all!

    January 23, 2009 at 10:59 pm |
  10. Joanne, Solvay, NY

    I trusted big business with my retirement funds. Big business robbed the American public without a mask, and without a gun; however, this certainly was "armed" robbery, in that, people in a position to blow the whistle failed to do so, for their own gain.

    How can we trust a disorganized government to undo the damage? President Obama believes that a transparent government with strict oversight can achieve the goal of sanitizing American business.

    Is this possible?

    January 23, 2009 at 10:59 pm |
  11. sandra

    I voted for Obama. I am hoping and preying there is alot of change in our government and the way we still do the , "I'll scratch your back," if you'll scratch mine.", Politics! What ever happened to the "We The People" type of politics. I agree with the "Bi-Partisian" ideas but, am sick of seeing the government letting corporations get away with criminal behavior. and then, bailing them out.
    When are they going to bail out the "People?" I am hitting 50 talked into going back to school for a "Better Life" through the now popular advertising such as, "Adult Learner" (see recent college advertising), Like many others, I too had dreams and thought I would be able to get a better paying career which would afford me the opportunity to send my daughter to college. Instead, it has put me more in debt and has not afforded me any better job or salary. Just more bills and debt, possibly loosing my home because if you cannot pay your college debt they will take your house. I did not know this whey I started school four years ago! What is Obama going to do for people like myself who are forced into "slave labor" because there are no jobs and it is hard to get a job even if you have a degree? Thanks for letting me vent. God Bless America!

    January 23, 2009 at 10:57 pm |
  12. Paula

    I agree with Susan...you hat ROCKED my inaugural experience!

    January 23, 2009 at 10:49 pm |
  13. Linda Russell

    I have listened carefully to all your comments on CNN during this
    exhilarating campaign year. In addition to respecting everything you say,
    your hearty laugh makes me smile too.

    Enjoy Davos, and help restore America's reputation in the world....You can do it!!

    January 23, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  14. mohamed abdellaoui

    dear anderson ,honsltly i was very disipointed in the way you reported the war in gaza.even you cant compaire the two,thousand of people died,half of them are women&children&old people.I 'm fan of yours,you seems like an honest man so be an honest repoter.until when you going to be one sided.please would you ask obama if you got the chance,he said if somebody is firing missiles in his house where his two dauthers are sleeping he will do everything in his power to stop it.But what would he do,if someone kidnap his daugthers,rape his wife&invade his house.In the end what happen in gaza was a masacre, was unhuman & barbaric.they cant starve people for one year and drop iligale bombes on them,thats means they are full of hate,thats wrong.

    January 23, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  15. Richard Larson

    Great choices on the middle-east envoys:experience hashing out agreements ,capped with signatures. These guys are good! About that ten ton elephant in the room:the American Economy.I would save some of this stimulus package funds for a long term contingency plan.Namely,some work programs patterned after the CCC projects of the thirties.Also, get ready to involve neighborhood churches to set up grassroots efforts to feed and shelter the poor and needy.They could also work with Human Services to develope "CARE" type jobs and tasks that are needed and will add value to the lives and services of the elderly.Temporary,Part-time positions that would be based on basic needs met on a priority basis.Meaningful,rewarding,employment, kicking as needed, according to scaled demand:....hopefully not at all but ready just in case!WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS! Mr President.I personally love your"Because I WON" attitude.Your logic and character are sound attention getters for old school washington to finally start dancing to a new, accountable patriotic drum beat.GOD Bless You Sir.

    January 23, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  16. steve in kc

    david you're usually so dead on,.but off the mark here......
    so what if the vote is 58-40? its still a butt-kicking. the republicans have two choices; one is realize the guy has a mandate and they dont. and when some of this works, he'll beat em like a drum from the bully pulpit for being sticks in the mud and espousing the same old failed soak-the -poor crap or two, sit down and shut up for the first 100 days picking their battles wisely (and there will be several to pick from).
    the democrats and their "friends" are the only ones who can whip the other sides butt cleanly by 20 votes and feel like they barely eeked out a victory. its like some sports in post-season play who when startled to find themselves up by 20 points with 2 minutes left, start playing safe and throw away the victory.
    he's got a mandate. he needs to ask for their support and if it dosent come, he needs to steamroll them and make an example out a few of the republican loud-mouths especially boehner and kyl. i wanna see some blood too. time to be alpha dog and not apologize for now. he needs unfettered success at least in the first 100 days.
    c'mon you worked for reagan in his first 100 days. did he apologize?
    please.....

    January 23, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  17. Jackie Huskey

    David: Contrary to some of the earlier comments, I want to say Thank You for being more objective and middle of the road than other commentators. I appreciate your comments because it appears to me that you do not get carried away either towards the right or left. President Obama seems to have gotten off to a good start, but he has a long way to go. God bless him.

    January 23, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  18. be-fair16

    Hey Mr.Dave, please do me a favor buddy: remind ac & the public that Obama originally proposed a 775 billion dollar recovery package free of pork, but after it came out of the house it was 825 billion with pork. I am blogging for first time ever & I chose you because I have checked out every political show the last two years and you are a fair guy. P.S. Two other presidents were sworn in without a bible.

    January 23, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  19. cindi

    Hi David,
    Why do I feel this sense of deja vu. Will the congressional Democrats once again ruin any hopes of a "honeymoon" for a Democratic President.?
    Looks as if you will have to work for your 5th President if this keeps up.
    And as usual, the Republicans have reverted to negativity with no real offers of solutions.
    Ah well, I had an upbeat, optimistic time on January 20th!!

    January 23, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  20. Giselle, Atlanta

    Is it just me or does Sen. Harry Reid appear in a snit recently? Is it because of the Blago/Burris debacle or does he have issues with Pres. Obama?

    January 23, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  21. Heather Kelly

    I am extremely happy about the first few policies that Obama has overturned from the Bush Administration, but I am deeply concerned about the "behind closed doors strong-arming' that may be happening.

    Right after 9-11, Bush, and his cronies, strong-armed the Senate to pass the Patriot Act. They made all of the American public to feel they are un-American if they disagreed in the slightest with any policy that was put forth.

    While I believe that ALL of Bush's policies were wrong, and should be overturned, it is a huge mistake to use the same techniques to get the job done. Remember, 2 – 3 years after Bush strong-armed his vision of America, the Senate, and the American people realized they had been sold a 'bill-of-goods.' I don't want the same reaction to occur during this Administration. Why can't Obama's cronies put out the facts and let the Senate vote their consciense? It should be easier to do now that the Lobbyists have been restrained.

    January 23, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  22. johnchristopher

    David.

    Talk is cheap and everybody has an opinion.

    Let's face it David, without capital there is no Capitalism.

    The Debtor Society is where we live and since 1913 the Federal Reserve has been sucking the life out of the American people.

    It is time for Executive Order 11110. It's time to for JFK's redemption.

    January 23, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  23. James

    I agree with David Gergen. The President's first week was as flawless as his campaign. I believe he has hit the ground running and established a dynamic pace for the next four years. He seems well equipped to take on the myriad of economic issues facing the country. I do however question the premise of the current and two previous economic stimulus plans. They have all been based on the premise that the best way to stimulate the economy and expand credit markets is through tax cuts, tax rebates and helping large financial institutions that have the worst balance sheets and assets. Shouldn't we be thinking outside the box and creating new institutions to provide credit and capital to small and emerging businesses rather than trying to resuscitate and carry the bloated carcasses of dying financial behemoths?

    January 23, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  24. beanne

    And with a stroke of a pen he just condemed millions of babies to death......and he's the savior of what?

    January 23, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  25. Ian, Canada

    Sorry, David but I meant to ask why so little was going to infrastructure spending? Not the other way around.

    January 23, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  26. Bridget

    I was talking to a co-worker today, she's in her 50s and she said she remembers a time when politicians actually worked together, to past legislation and weren't hooked and defined by their party affiliation.

    I wish for times like these now, because we need for everyone to work togther and to get out of themselves.

    January 23, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  27. Dan

    Kevina Porch: "I did’nt think it was right when folks put down ANY president."

    The right to criticize our government is one of the cornerstones of American democracy. In contrast, consider, for example, China, where you can be jailed and made to 'disappear' if you criticize the government. Would you like that better?

    January 23, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  28. John

    Something I havn't heard about!
    Some of the older professionals who have no jobs, either due to layoffs, job export, are not mentioned much in any of the discussions. It is probably true that most of these people have lost most of the 401k retirements,are at an age that makes it hard to get hired and may have no other options being discussed. Is this group of people, who may have been the very people who developed most of the technology now available, being forgotten? Its too bad that there is no talk of using this group of professionals, who have vast amounts of experience, to help the country solve some of its technical problems.
    They, I think have something to offer and at the same time it would give them a chance to get their 401k plans back up.

    January 23, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  29. Ian, Canada

    David:
    Why is so little of the "pump-priming" side of the so-called stimulus package going to non-infrastructure expenditure? This makes no sense given how much easier it would be to sell to the American people and pass through conress in a bi=partisen way. If things like the railroad, interstate highway system, sewers, mass-transit etc. aren't the reason for America's historic and longheld economic dominance then what is?

    January 23, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  30. orlando balla

    David, you are, by far, the greatest. I would hope that President Obama takes you into his cabinet.

    January 23, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  31. Bridget

    I don't understand why P. Obama made the statement, he won to the republicans, when he's said he wants all parties to come together? I also don't agree with nor understand why he would think we would support spending $10.00 on soil and grass, let alone mils when we are struggling with making ends meet.

    Oh well, I'm going to ride it out.

    January 23, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  32. Marlene from Markham ON

    What I've always liked about you is your balanced observations. As a Canadian, I have watched the swirling coverage on your new President and hope that your country stops navel gazing long enough to give this guy a chance – keep him safe; you may not get another chance to fix so many things that have gone wrong.

    January 23, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  33. xtina, chicago IL

    as the first commenter writes, Mexico is not doing well; they are predicted to be one of the countries on verge of collapsing. Shouldn't the borders be secured against a wave of illegal immigrants? Im thinking that's more important than the so-called 'civil rights' of people with terrorist resumes.

    January 23, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  34. Ana H

    With malice toward none...Obama is our only and last chance. It is really up to us. If we continue along the path of hatred, bickering, and
    posturing, we can all kiss peace, prosperity and reconciliation good-by. We would have seaaled our destinity- nothing lost to many my age except the promise.for future generations. I have never been so glad to be over fifty-five. May wisdom and blessings come your way.

    January 23, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  35. Deena

    David,

    I like your positive perspective about the world at large and those moving forward in it. Obama has one tough go ahead of him, and his first week went well. Some bumps in the road but for the most part, he should be able to navigate through these and hopefully to a better place soon. Mistrust is not with him, it is with what has happened and how many of us have processed it, particularly when we feel some of it is affecting us personally.

    January 23, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  36. Lois in Wisconsin

    Hi Anderson,
    Since we are socialists bailing out free market companies. I think the tax payers would be thrilled if the strings attached to any company that received tax dollars should have to change their business plan to look like a fair trade company called Equal Exchange. The top person cannot make more than 5 times what the average worker makes. The idea being that one does not exist without the other. They can make good profits , but have to bonus on the 5-1 rule or maybe have a rainy day fund. I think the tax payer has the right to insist on these strings to any failed business. I also believe this would give the consumers some confidence and faith that the huge gap between the classes would be tightened. Lois in wisconsin

    January 23, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  37. JCPNU

    Ed Henry cited a CBO report on the air tonight that supposedly "trashed" the House Democrats' stimulus package. Problem? No such report was ever issued.

    January 23, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  38. James in Virginia

    Near perfect by closing Gitmo. What is his plan?

    He has no definitive plan as to what to do with those terrorists. This is simply his attempt to keep a campaign promise above protecting the citizens of the US.

    Over the next year he will devise a plan. He should have already had a plan before deciding to close Gitmo. This is simply poor management. The other countries are not going to take them back. We have already seen that we don't have the ability to prosecute terroists in the US. We have also seen these terrorists simply go back to the battlefield. They auction the body parts of our service members on E-bay after them kill them. They are barbarians. The head of Lebonworth said he does not want them because he cannot handle them at his prision. This part of Obama's plan is a dissater waiting to happen.

    I am certain if I look back at your quotes from after September 11th you will be one of those people who have said how did this happen. When it happens again just remember your own article from today and your support to shut down Gitmo with no plan. I thought you actually had some common sense.

    January 23, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  39. Kim Gamelli

    Anderson,
    Why do you keep referring to our countries' President as Mr. Obama?
    Shouldn't you be saying President Obama?
    Kim

    January 23, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  40. Steve in Michigan

    Sooner or later, Obama has to actually DO something. And when The President actually does something, he makes somebody, somewhere angry. That is when blowing happy smoke around will no longer work. Sooner or later, Obama and company have to stand up to somebody, somewhere, and then they start to make their very own enemies.... just like every president does. So enjoy this brief little visit to Happy Land where everybody loves everybody. It won't last long.

    January 23, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  41. Marc from Raliegh, NC

    You wake up everyday and go to work or whatever you do and guess what? It really does not matter who is in control we still have bills and still have to do the same stuff everyday. The world will not change just because we have Obama in office. Congrats to him and all the people that support him, but it is just another day and we still have to do the best we can to support our family

    January 23, 2009 at 10:04 pm |
  42. hybridace101

    These are great points. One thing though: he reversed EOs by the Bush administration on social issues that were controversial. We have to remember that some conservatives in battleground states were the key to him winning handily there so it will be interesting to see how this plays with them especially 4 years from now.

    January 23, 2009 at 10:02 pm |
  43. Andy -- North Carolina

    Spamonigirl, George Mitchell's mother was an immigrant from Lebanon.

    January 23, 2009 at 10:01 pm |
  44. Karen C

    I would like to know just how the use of money for major tax cuts that I keep hearing about from the republicans on the hill would be any more helpful, or very far reaching in helping the economy. It's a sticky point. Maybe it won't work. But not doing it won't do anything either and not doing quite enough might be worse than either. I'd like to know why Obama is supposed to be able predict the outcome as it often seems ALL the senators want when *this is unlike anything we've seen".

    January 23, 2009 at 10:00 pm |
  45. Dan from California

    Barack Obama, managed a campaign better than anyone every has. I trust his ability to manage his administration.

    Why do hillarites keep saying things like "If Hillary had won ..."? Umm, its been more that 6 months since it was very, very apparent that she wasn't going to win, get over it!

    January 23, 2009 at 10:00 pm |
  46. Larry

    President Obama does not need congressional approval. His approval rating is so high that he can force congress to do as he wishes or they can face not being re-elected when their terms run out and they get Obama democrats elected & running Congress.

    January 23, 2009 at 9:53 pm |
  47. Donald Ricketts

    I would like to know why some folks think it is a bad idea to give states money for projects like repair or replacement of roads and bridges?? I believe the federal government provides tax dollars to states already for that very thing. If the states get this extra boost of money, then people will have jobs, they will have money for food, housing, etc, they will pay taxes on the money they earn, and they will retain their self respect because they are working and not on unemployment and welfare. These type of projects benefit everyone who uses them to include the trucks and trains that bring various goods to the stores where folks go to buy what they need to live. As long as the money is provided specifically for those projects and has limits on how much each level of government can skim as the money flows down, I think it is great idea to help slow down this unemployment slide we are on. I do agree that it is not the silver bullet that will end the recession, but I do think it will help.

    January 23, 2009 at 9:47 pm |
  48. frank thomas

    right now just about anything is better that the way it was for the last 8 years, lets just get all the leaders together in the mid east and folks running the economy and say what is the problem, lets all work it out and get on with progress,nothing else has worked so why not. thanks ftw

    January 23, 2009 at 9:42 pm |
  49. Nancy

    David:
    I cannot help but believe that some of Obama's key aides and colleagues have listened to your regular commentary on CNN and taken detailed notes during this past election season leading up to and continuing with the present time. They're getting free and ongoing consulting services from you....value insight that I'm hoping they use wisely and regularly. I hope they heed your unsolicited comments. You'd be keeping them on the right track with your calm, straightforward, objective advice, counsel and opinions, especially when you admonish their behavior and tactics. Your insight and opnions are the best I've seen and heard in any print or broadcast media outlet. I'd love to have lunch with you!

    January 23, 2009 at 9:41 pm |
  50. Kona

    "because 'I won.'" That is priceless. Yes you did Mr. President, yes you did.

    Thanks David.

    January 23, 2009 at 9:35 pm |
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