State of the Union was evidence of Obama's ideological fatigue

By Michael Gerson

The Washington Post

Published: Friday, Feb. 15 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

Executive directives like these — "my administration will begin to partner" — involve a diminution of the executive and indicate a weak policy process. It is something I occasionally encountered when I was head of White House speechwriting. The word goes out to the Energy Department: We need a proposal. The idea comes back: "Tonight I am instructing my distinguished energy secretary to convene a blue-ribbon panel that will study a cooperative process with state and local officials to set the goal of redesigning the American energy experience within 10 years."

Such ideas are typical products of government. Including them in the State of the Union address is a sign of ideological fatigue.

Michael Gerson's email address is michaelgerson@washpost.com.

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