I think there are a limited number of important things a President can do. One is be a symbol – which Obama does nicely, at least until his President-Elect-Hopey-Shine wears off. The other is manage the bureaucracy.
It looks like Obama has jumped on the bureaucracy issue – at least according to his propaganda, he has a list of 200 or so Bush Executive Orders he wants to overturn. I’m totally down with most – particularly listing CO2 as an air pollutant, which will empower the EPA to significantly reduce carbon emissions without new legislation.
It shows that Obama’s election isn’t shaping up to be a total disappointment – although notably absent from reports on the EO action was any mention of Bush’s claims for the authority to torture, wiretap and attack whatever he pleases. It seems that while Obama will wipe away some of the Bush legacy, unilateral executive authority remains “on the table“.