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View Diary: This election feels different (278 comments)

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  •  Obama: Transformational or Oppositional? (1+ / 0-)
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    There was recently a great article in The Atlantic describing the types of presidents we've had going back into the 1800s and how they are defined by their circumstances. Clinton, for instance, was an "oppositional" president who "triangulated" because it was the only way to move his agenda forward at the height of the dominant conservative political environment that Reagan kicked off in 1980. The question for Obama is whether he will be another oppositional president or if he can be transformational to the political climate as Reagan was. This election does feel like the beginning of a new era.

    Finally, if Obama wants to make his influence lasting, he must work to create an economy prosperous enough to help ensure that a Democrat follows him in 2016. Preemptive presidents usually aren't succeeded by members of their own party, but reconstructive presidents often are. If another Democrat -- say, Hillary Clinton -- takes the oath of office in January 2017, that will be the strongest indication that, at least for the Democrats, it is morning in America. The Age of Reagan will be over, and the Age of Obama will have begun.

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