Obama’s Balancing Act

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In this story for TIME.com, Massimo Calabresi points to one of the trickier calculations that every President–and especially a new one–must face: How much to defer to Congress on legislation.

Ultimately, of course, Congress writes every line of every bill, and the leaders and committee chairmen on Capitol Hill have a better feel for what will actually pass their own chambers. But the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue influences that process, and if the President defers too much, the end product may not reflect his own priorities. How well Obama finds this balance–something we will begin to see over the next couple of weeks, as the economic stimulus package moves through the Senate and a conference committee–will be one of the keys to how well he succeeds as President.