From NBC's Mark Murray
Earlier today, Arianna Huffington had quite the conversation starter: that after reading Obama campaign manager David Plouffe's new book, "The Audacity to Win," she believes the first year of Obama's presidency can be summed up with this title instead -- "The Timidity to Govern."
Indeed, reading the book, I often found myself wondering what Candidate Obama would think of President Obama. Would he look at what the White House is doing and say, "that's what I and my supporters worked so hard for?"
How did the candidate who got into the race because he'd decided that "the core leadership had turned rotten" and that "the people were getting hosed" become the president who has decided that the American people can only have as much change as Olympia Snowe will allow?
How did the candidate who told a stadium of supporters in Denver that "the greatest risk we can take is to try the same old politics with the same old players and expect a different result" become the president who has surrounded himself with the same old players trying the same old politics, expecting a different result?
Well, Plouffe has now responded with his own Huffington Post piece.
Arianna Huffington has written much that I agree with. But when it comes to her opinion on the president and his record so far, or her suggestion that there is some great difference between the president and the candidate, I have to register the strongest possible dissent. A year after our historic victory, I have never been more certain that Barack Obama is uniquely suited to lead the country at this unparalleled moment. His values; his ability and desire to think long term; his determination to avoid the easy road of political expedience and to rebuild trust between the American people and their government--these are exactly what American needs right now. As on any journey, there will be twists and turns, ups and downs. But the change so many of us fought for so passionately last year is becoming a reality in front of our eyes, if we focus squarely enough to see it. And when the decisions he is making today finally resolve into a complete picture years down the road, we will find ourselves living in a stronger, fairer, and more prosperous America. And we will cherish the small part all of us played in electing this unique leader, a man befitting this critical moment in our history.