June 14th, 2010
01:37 PM ET

Obama waiting to see if his bets pay off

David Frum
CNN Contributor

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/06/14/frum.obama.waiting/t1larg.obama.waiting.decisions.gi.jpg caption="David Frum: It's likely Obama has already made most of the key decisions of his presidency" width=300 height=169]

Even if he were to serve eight years in office, Barack Obama has likely already made all the most important decisions of his presidency. That's the nature of the presidency: The big decisions almost always come early, and then the president must live with them for better or worse.

A president can sometimes reverse course, as Bill Clinton did after he lost Congress in 1994. But while that reversal preserved Clinton's popularity, it destroyed his leadership. He spent the next six years presiding over a government whose course was steered from Capitol Hill, not the White House.

But big decisions seldom go right or wrong immediately. There are often months or even years of waiting for the outcome. And on four of his big decisions, President Obama is waiting now.

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Filed under: Opinion • President Barack Obama
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Denise

    Whatever the president does at this point is going to make or break him, if it hasn't already. Our country has gone through so much over the past year and a half. Mr Obama needs to pull it together, step up and show a stronger leadership ability. It's his only way of surviving the rest of his term as president.

    June 14, 2010 at 1:45 pm |