Thursday, January 10, 2008

Plans vs. Leadership

From the Indianapolis Star:

When it comes to shaping domestic policy, the president is just one voice of many. In the process of a bill becoming a law, the end product can often look quite different from what was originally proposed.

During the three-hour debate marathon on ABC Saturday night, the Democratic presidential candidates spent a lot of time arguing over which of their health-care proposals will cover the most Americans, and the Republicans debated the minutiae of their respective immigration policies. But voters, and the media, should not put too much stock in the details of such policy debates.

Once the next president submits his or her proposals to Congress, the bills will be revised by various House and Senate committees and will be affected by lobbyists from all sides. In the end, the president's leadership skills and ability to persuade others (including members of the opposition party) will prove to be of far more importance than the specific policy details articulated on the campaign trail.

This is why each candidate's executive experience is so important. Giuliani, and to a lesser extent Huckabee and Romney, has a record of success facing a hostile opposition. The other candidates (on both sides) do not.

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