President Lyndon B. Johnson looking at portrait of President Franklin D. Roosevelt [LBJ Library photo by Cecil Stoughton. #43-8-WH65]

Toward Job Creation, Obama Should Emulate LBJ

Jun 18, 2012

by Peter S. Goodman
Business editor, The Huffington Post

Much of the handwringing over President Barack Obama's disappointing economic performance centers on his failure to emulate FDR, whose muscular public works spending generated millions of jobs and helped lift the country from the Great Depression. But former Senator Bill Bradley, who has been talking up job creation strategies of late, argues that Obama would do well to channel another former president best known by his initials -- LBJ.

In the face of relentless Republican opposition against any and all efforts to spur economic growth, Bradley argues that the president ought to employ the tactics of the legendary Texas lawmaker Lyndon Johnson and strong-arm opponents into cooperating on a master plan to restore economic vigor via a sustained campaign of shame.

"If I were Obama, I would have names of the 40 Republicans who, by virtue of background, education and reasonableness, know that this total obstruction is counterproductive," Bradley told me last week. "I'd know more about those 40 Republicans than their mothers, and I'd invite them down to the White House and tell them that it's crucial to the country's future that they get with the program. A week or two later, if they still didn't go along, I'd call their mothers and their brothers and their high school history teacher. I'd call their biggest employers and their campaign contributors. I'd call all the people I could appeal to, and I'd appeal to them as Americans." read more