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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 07:54 AM
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In Obama's decision-making, a wide range of influences
An intelligent, curious president? I am thrilled at this aspect of President Obama!


In Obama's decision-making, a wide range of influences

By Anne E. Kornblut and Michael A. Fletcher
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, January 25, 2010


During one of his Afghan review meetings last year, President Obama surprised senior advisers by jumping into a discussion between two military officials about a new study of post-traumatic stress disorder.

The flow of information to the president is usually carefully managed, and no one in the room had briefed Obama on the data. "It's not like we'd sent him the study, but he'd clearly seen it," one adviser said. "It was telling."

What it told of was a president who persists in seeking his own information, beyond what is offered to him. His lawyerly and orderly reliance on facts and data often has created an impression that Obama is cool and detached.

It is an image his advisers and friends reject. Instead, they paint a more nuanced and at times blurred portrait of a president who is deeply moved by the struggles of average citizens who stand up at town hall meetings or write thousands of letters to the White House -- 10 of which he reads each day.

When he turns to solving problems through policy, he reveres facts, calling for data and then more data. He looks for historical analogues and reads voraciously.

"This is someone who in law school worked with {Harvard professor} Larry Tribe on a paper on the legal implications of Einstein's theory of relativity," said senior adviser David M. Axelrod. "He does have an incisive mind; that mind is always put to use in pursuit of tangible things that are going to improve people's lives."

more...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...
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Clio the Leo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:00 AM
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1. I'm amazed at how well he handles those Town Hall meetings...
.... open up the mic, let anyone ask anything they want. And the last one was especially diverse. Everything from how the H1N1 vaccine effected seniors (which you'd expect him to understand) to laws regarding international patents (which is not something I'd be upset about if he couldn't rattle off of the top of his head.)

And apparently he LOVES doing town halls. Like I've said before, I'm glad we elected the nerd boy this time. :)

May 22, 2009
We were flying to the U.S. Naval Academy aboard the Marine One helicopter and the President was reading the business section of the New York Times. He is a voracious reader.

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burning rain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:40 AM
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2. If Axelrod or Jarrett had written such a piece themselves as part of a memoir, I'd say "Fine."
But for Kornblut and Fletcher to try and pass off such uncritical stuff sourced with the president's loyalists, as journalism, sets my teeth on edge.

Or at least put it in the style section.
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:47 AM
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4. Perhaps they're trying to balance all the criticism they
themselves throw out regularly. I don't know, but a decent article once in awhile makes me happy, especially from the WaPo.
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burning rain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 09:17 AM
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5. Sure, there's a place for this sort of thing.
It's certainly useful to have. I just wish they wouldn't put it out as straight journalism. They could at least attach a caveat by way of a subheading, something like "View of friends and advisers."
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ShortnFiery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:47 AM
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3. Gee, I've seen a lot of analysis and pragmatism, but the DECISION part is often lacking. eom
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