Obama breaks partisan lines

Published 9:24 am Tuesday, September 1, 2009

President Barack Obama may not be able to get bipartisan cooperation in Congress, but the commander in chief has shown that he is willing to cross party lines when it comes to finding the right person for the job.

Despite the many critics who claim Obama is pushing the nation to the left and filling government with liberal Democrats, the facts show that Obama seems to be doing a good job of trying to find the right person for the right job, even if that means tabbing a Republican or even a former Bush appointee.

According to reports by the Associated Press Monday, Obama has appointed seven Republicans or non-traditional Democrats to key roles within the administration and top government posts. This may not be more apparent than in his decision to reappoint Fed chief Ben Bernanke and Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Both men were appointed by Bush but it appears that Obama chose to keep them in place in part because they have been serving the country well during some very difficult times.

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Others include Sheila Bair, holdover chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, who has helped lead the way during the financial crisis; Ray LaHood, a former congressman from Illinois, as transportation secretary and former Rep. John McHugh from upstate New York, as Army secretary. McHugh has a reputation for working on both sides of the aisle.

The reality is that both parties — Republicans and Democrats — and all those in between had a role in allowing our nation’s problems to mount.

It will take a unified approach and much compromise to turn this around but, thankfully, it looks as if Obama is willing to do it.

Now Congress must follow suit.