The Partisan Fight Over Bipartisanship

I did a double take when I read the story this morning on the latest New York Times/CBS poll.

I did a double take when I read the story this morning on the latest New York Times/CBS poll. The results showed a majority of Americans want President Obama to keep reaching out to Republicans while an equal majority wants him to pursue his campaign promises rather than compromise with Republicans. With that kind of disconnect, no wonder bipartisanship remains so elusive.

Obviously, you can't have it both ways. Bipartisanship requires compromise. Obama understands that, but no one else seems to. What the poll really suggests is that the public wants him to keep trying, but that he needs to do more to explain what it is that he aims to accomplish. He also needs to persuade others to go along.

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Mark Willen
Senior Political Editor, The Kiplinger Letter