I'd assumed that Obama, a Chicago pol, was cynical smart, and all this "bipartisan" stuff was just chaff to distract the enemy.
Krugman says otherwise, and he claims evidence (emphases mine) ...
... how did this happen? I blame President Obama’s belief that he can transcend the partisan divide — a belief that warped his economic strategy.
After all, many people expected Mr. Obama to come out with a really strong stimulus plan, reflecting both the economy’s dire straits and his own electoral mandate.
Instead, however, he offered a plan that was clearly both too small and too heavily reliant on tax cuts. Why? Because he wanted the plan to have broad bipartisan support, and believed that it would. Not long ago administration strategists were talking about getting 80 or more votes in the Senate.
Mr. Obama’s postpartisan yearnings may also explain why he didn’t do something crucially important: speak forcefully about how government spending can help support the economy. Instead, he let conservatives define the debate, waiting until late last week before finally saying what needed to be said — that increasing spending is the whole point of the plan...
Wow. The administration really expected support from the Party of Limbaugh?! They weren't just putting up a smokescreen?!
How the heck did such a naive group win the election?!
I assume they're better informed now.
Update: Emily doesn't buy it. She thinks the "80 seat" leak was another layer of deception, intended to make the GOP think that Obama's team were a bunch of naive rubes. She's convinced they're deeply steeped in
darkest devilish evil. I certainly hope so!