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No TR: The Limits of Obama's Bully Pulpit No TR: The Limits of Obama's Bully Pulpit

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No TR: The Limits of Obama's Bully Pulpit


President Barack Obama waves as he arrives to speak about the economy, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011, at Osawatomie High School in Osawatomie, Kan.(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Obama's "fair shot" address Tuesday may be remembered as one of his best, a searing and historically poignant account of the greatest challenge of the American experiment: How do we give every citizen, rich or poor, a path to the good life?

But his speech in Osawatomie, Kan., with its echoes of Theodore Roosevelt's appearance in the same city a century ago, also exposed the limits of Obama's presidency and personality. Obama is a man of his times, and this is a lousy time to command what TR called the "bully pulpit."


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