We’re not so sure that President Romney would have succeeded where President Obama has so far failed. But let’s run through his discussion points on the subject, shall we? Maybe you’ll be convinced where we weren’t.
LEADERNESS. In his Fox interview, Romney expressed the common idea that the US chief executive is a lead sled dog pulling the nation in his wake. In the context of an issue of legislative gridlock, such as the sequester, that means the president needs to impose his will on lawmakers, maybe by locking them all in a room until they reach consensus.
“The president brings people together, does the deals, does the trades, knocks the heads together. The president leads. And I don’t see that kind of leadership happening right now,” said Romney.
Yes, but how would knocking a few legislative heads cause the GOP to accept a tax increase? The problem is that there is a deep and substantive divide on fiscal policy between Republicans and Democrats. Invoking “leadership” as a means to close that gap is vague at best.
Dartmouth political scientist Brendan Nyhan calls this the “Green Lantern” theory of the presidency, after the fictional superhero.