What do voters expect Obama to do?

I wonder whether American voters really do want President-elect Barack Obama to go big and go liberal as David Sirota argues in today’s Salon.com:

…while the president-elect talks of forming a bipartisan Cabinet, his victory wasn’t the public’s cry for milquetoast government-by-blue-ribbon-commission. As the Center for Community Change’s Deepak Bhargava says, Obama’s win was an ideological mandate presenting “an opening for transformational, progressive change.”

Maximizing this opportunity relies on Democrats understanding the parable from Spiderman comics – the one about great power coming with “great responsibility.” In politics, that latter phrase is a euphemism for high expectations.

What the party gains in strength it loses in a Republican scapegoat that previously justified inaction. On huge issues – whether re-regulating Wall Street, reforming trade, solving the health care emergency, or ending the war in Iraq – America envisages enormous progress in the months ahead, and Democrats will have no one to blame for failure but themselves. After all, with more than 340 electoral votes, President-elect Obama cannot credibly claim he lacks the political capital to legislatively steamroll a humiliated GOP and its remaining senators. The same goes for Democrats everywhere. Meeting expectations requires championing far-reaching – even radical – initiatives.


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