The Hill: Obama must bring back the opportunity society

Published January 24, 2012

Tonight, President Obama has the kind of opportunity that former President Clinton had in 1996 — a chance to jumpstart his presidency, set the framework for his election and show that he has a dynamic agenda for America’s future in the 21st century.

The mess on the Republican side, along with improving economic numbers, has given him a singular opportunity to break through with the American people. The Republican presidential candidates have now proved as fractious and mean-spirited as the Republicans in Congress, widening the president’s opportunity.

So he has to give a speech that is long on job creation and short on rhetoric that could be interpreted as class warfare. In this speech, he has to bring America together and rise above politics and partisanship. It’s a time for tough words on Iran along with strong support for Israel. It’s a time to embrace optimism and the ability of America to succeed in the face of adversity. And it’s time to mend fences with the business community by bringing back offshore profits to jumpstart the economy. Above all, he has to give Americans renewed hope in his ability to restore the American Dream for this and the next generation.

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The Hill: The center is back — and Obama needs to be there

Published January 11, 2012

The center is back.

After a year in which it looked like the Republican Party was headed to the extremes with Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Herman Cain and then Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney last night took 49 percent of the Republicans who voted in the New Hampshire open primary.

And the more centrist the Republican nominee, the more centrist the president needs to be in order to win in 2012. The huge ideological gap that would have made running against the Republicans an easy romp is disappearing as the exit polls show that even primary voters are choosing practicality over partisanship. In both Iowa and New Hampshire, Romney won with those voters who thought he had a better chance to beat President Obama in November.

Despite Ron Paul’s popularity with youth and Jon Huntsman’s popularity with Democrats, Romney managed to still win the registered Independents and those who identified as socially moderate and liberal. The attributes that have been a weakness to Romney during the primary season will likely be his strengths in the general election if he clinches the nomination in the next contests.

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CNN: What does your vote mean for the middle class? [VIDEO]

Mark Penn and Chris Metzler discuss the fight for the middle class with Christine Romans. Watch the video at CNN’s Your Bottom Line

Bloomberg: Mark Penn, John Sununu on Iowa Caucus Results [VIDEO]

Mark Penn, chief executive officer of Burson-Marsteller and a former senior adviser to President Bill Clinton, and John Sununu, a former Republican U.S. senator and a Bloomberg contributing editor, talk about the results of the Iowa caucuses and the outlook for the New Hampshire primary. They speak on Bloomberg Television’s “InBusiness With Margaret Brennan.”

Watch the video at