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Major Garrett thinks Obama doesn't understand politics


There's no denying that the relationship between President Obama and Congress is on ice. Different theories on why have made media rounds since Obama took office: obstinate Republicans, uncompromising Democrats, an increasingly-polarized news media, racism, etc.

Here's a new one from CBS News's Major Garrett. He says it's as simple as the guy who's been elected and reelected to the highest office in the world not understanding how politics works:

Part of the problem is that Obama, by his own words and those of people who worked most closely with him, doesn’t devote much energy to congressional outreach. I’m not talking about mindless encounters at a White House picnic or Christmas party or a photo-op golf game with Boehner. ...

The harder work is for a president to deal with lawmakers as they often are—petulant, small-minded, paranoid, needy, hyper-excitable about their ideas, and notoriously unaware of considerations outside their committees and prospects for reelection. Disliking these characteristics doesn’t make them go away.

The art of a deal in politics is not to win so much that you remain popular, but to win enough so that you remain popular while your opponent wins enough so that he or she remains popular, too. ...

This insight appears to elude Obama.

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