How Obama Could Have Better Fixed the Economy

The author of "The Escape Artists" discusses the mistakes the White House made implementing the economic recovery

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Has Obama learned from this experience?

In the last six months you've really seen a difference, because if you take something like the payroll tax cut, which they just extended for the full year, his approach to that was not to quietly engage them, and sound them out behind closed doors, which had basically been his strategy for the last 2½ years. His strategy was to go out to the public and say, look, these guys better get their act together and extend this payroll tax cut thing, otherwise people's taxes are going to go up, and they are going to be to blame. So he took a much more partisan, much more hard-nosed approach when it came to that, and it worked, they did kind of cave. It was kind of an implicit admission on the White House's part that you needed to be a little tougher if you wanted to get stuff done.

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