I’ve been reading Bob Woodward’s new book called “The Price of Politics.” It’s about the early years of the Obama administration and the grappling over a potential government shut down and debt default. It’s awesome.
Just like his books on the Bush administration, this one is well-written.
Here are my impressions:
- Obama: Awful at connecting with people, creating “what the ___” moments with both Democrats and Republicans. Didn’t understand how to work with Congress and lost people’s respect. So, both parties cut him out of negotiations
- Senate Majority Leader Reid: Grumpy. Extremely effective at legislation. Disappointed in Obama, he quickly cuts a deal with the Republicans to avoid government debt default
- House Speaker Boehner: Crafty. Definitely held hostage by the Tea Party. Willing to compromise, but the Tea Party has a gun to his head. A trusting relationship with Reid saves the day
- Vice President Biden: Great ability to nudge people to make compromises. Can bring the parties together
- House Republicans: After being kicked to the curb for two years when the Democrats controlled Congress and the Presidency, House Republicans once back in the majority didn’t want to compromise. They couldn’t forgive and forget
An interesting book. Both intriguing and disgusting to see how government runs.
Biggest takeaway for me: personal styles and good people skills make all the difference.