For a week leading up to the president’s Tuesday address, White House advisers were trying out yet another new catchphrase, telling any reporter they could find that President Barack Obama had discovered he had “a phone and a pen,” and he intended to use them in the year ahead. Up until now, apparently, the president has been relying on the quill and telegraph President Rutherford Hayes left behind, so this is kind of a breakthrough.
This pen-and-phone business represents a pretty stunning admission from a president five years into his term – that he and his senior aides are still groping about for ways to wield the power of the office, and that they have essentially given up on legislating. Their latest strategy holds that, since a small number of Republican lawmakers have effectively decided to thwart the public will, Obama must resort to doing the things he can do on his own, mainly by signing executive orders and making lots of calls. (Yahoo News)