Six weeks before taking office, President-elect Barack Obama can already boast one striking accomplishment: persuading partisan, ideological adversaries to see him in a less partisan, less ideological light.
After reaching out to John McCain, George Bush’s Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and picking New York Fed president Tim Geithner as Treasury Secretary,Obama is earning praise from prominent Republican conservatives.
And he has done it without abandoning his commitment to the same policies that conservatives attacked during the campaign -- his pledge to expand health care coverage, his vow to withdraw troops from Iraq, his promise to increase government spending on infrastructure and alternative energy projects. On the contrary, Mr. Obama has indicated that his domestic goals will be even bigger in the form of a massive economic stimulus early next year.
Does this mean Obama is indeed forging the new style of politics he aspired to in the campaign? If so, will it produce a split the difference bi-partisanship between Republcans and Democrats, or a "post-partisan" Washington that renders the left and right both irrelevant?