Danny Huizinga writes for the College Conservative and in a new post, he examines one of Obama’s weaker points.

Why Obama Should Work on Negotiation

Congress hasn’t passed a budget in four years, so the sudden approval of the Ryan-Murray budget last week came as something of a surprise. What changed this time? President Barack Obama avoided getting involved.

“I think this budget deal worked, quite frankly – let’s go right to the center of this – because Obama was not part of the negotiations,” said Bob Woodward, a noted journalist who has interviewed the president and key Capitol Hill leaders hundreds of times. “He is not a good negotiator,” said Woodward.

In The Price of Politics, Woodward documented in exceptional detail the 2011 negotiations of the “fiscal cliff.” Speaker of the House John Boehner and President Obama were allegedly very close to agreeing on a “grand bargain,” when one last phone call from the president brought the deal down. At the last minute, Obama wanted to add an additional $400 billion of revenue increases into the deal.

It’s interesting to note the difference between the Obama running for office and the Obama negotiating with Congress. In 2008, journalists were in awe of Obama’s charm and believed he would bring a new unity to American politics. Peter Wehner of the Washington Post even claimed he was “an appealing figure to many Republicans.”

So what happened?

Once in office, Obama began vilifying Republicans at every turn. When he didn’t feel like negotiations were going his way, he traveled the country belittling the other party in campaign-style speeches. When Republicans refused to sign on to the Obama agenda, “Republican obstructionism” became a catchphrase for media outlets and the justification for Democratic politicians to change the rules.

But the president also has tensions with Democratic leaders in Congress. Influential Democratic senators that recalled hours of fruitful conversations with President Clinton told Woodward they had barely spoken with the president at all. While House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was negotiating with Vice President Joe Biden and other legislators in 2011, Obama went over their heads and reached out directly to Boehner. This approach burned many bridges beyond repair.