On the need for greater clarity from the President. A couple of notes:
Print deadlines can be a pain in the butt: in the 24 hours after I wrote and closed this column, the Administration decided to do pretty much what I suggested–a speech to the Congress next Wednesday (just after my deadline, another headache) in which he clarifies his postion on health care reform.
Also, in the rookie mistakes department, I should note that almost every president, especially those taking over from a member of the opposite party, tends to overlearn the mistakes his predecessor made or over-correct the policies he thinks we wrong. The good ones figure out the proper balance pretty quickly: AFter criticizing George H.W. Bush’s position on China during the 1992, Bill Clinton soon realized that the Bush policy of engagement was the right way to go. Bush Junior, on the 0ther hand, transformed an imminent breakthrough on North Korea into a disaster…which was just the start of the monumental dopiness that followed.