WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama has invoked the words and wisdom of former President Ronald Reagan more than once. Upon taking office in 2009, the president expressed hope that he could become a transformational president as Reagan was.
So what would Reagan do to end the stalemate that has thrown the government into shutdown?
Kenneth Duberstein, the former president’s chief of staff, says the way to solve the crisis is to stop the photo ops, halt the news conferences and conduct quiet conversations between Republicans and Democrats and between Congress and the White House.
“President Reagan reminded all of us that an essential part of being a great communicator is listening and I’m not sure people are listening to one another,” Duberstein says.
“What do you need in order to get this done?” is a question Duberstein says both sides in the dispute should be asking each other.
Duberstein says this week’s government shutdown is “preposterous.”
What should congressional Republicans be doing to end the dispute?
“The Republicans on the Hill, on the far-right especially in the House, need to listen to what not only the Democrats but the White House need and come together,” Duberstein says.
What can Obama do?
“President Obama has been in office now for close to six years. He needs, even at this late moment, to develop some relationships on the Hill, on both sides of the aisle, where he gets the benefit of the doubt,” Duberstein says.
With a budget agreement needed and a pending fight over raising the government’s debt ceiling, Duberstein says both sides must listen to each other.
“It’s not an ideological jihad,” Duberstein says. “People of good will must come together.”
Former Virginia Rep. Tom Davis spoke with WTOP Thursday and said Reagan would have had a plan and would have prevented a shutdown from ever happening.