Taking a leaf from Bill Clinton's playbook

When Bill Clinton was elected and before he was inaugurated, he convened a group of experts to meet in Arkansas and plan how to deal with the "stupid economy" he'd campaigned against. He wanted to hit the floor running, and the meeting, televised to the public, projected his intention to act on his promises made during the campaign. He was a working president before he was actually the president; the opposite of a lame duck, he was a charged-up horse out of the gate.

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President Obama should follow that good idea with a version of his own. He should note the “Fix the Debt” remarks of the 80 business executives who spoke out last week calling for deficit reduction by way of balanced reforms that cut costs and raised revenues. The Senate's bipartisan Gang of Eight, the Bowles-Simpson advocates and the recent Special Congressional Committee members all indicated there is bipartisan support for smart, balanced financial reform.

The president should call these groups together NOW, to meet with presidential support immediately after the election. It would show he is a man of action, bipartisan instincts and, win or lose, it would put the nation on the road for needed reform. It would be hard for Romney to sidestep such a meeting's report if he were to be elected, and it would jump-start the president's post-election work if he were reelected.


Ronald Goldfarb is a Washington, D.C.- and Miami-based attorney, author and literary agent.