President Obama suffered a political defeat by the progressives from his own party when Congress failed to secure the fast track authority that he needs to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement. Many opposing Democrats believed the ongoing negotiating agreement would damage the middle class American workers.

While there is the long standing aversion to trade agreements by labor and unions, the current driving opposition to the President's trade agreement also stems from President's long distance relationship with Congress. Instead of personally devoting to listen to his own party congressional members, the President "delegated most of the arm-twisting to his unpopular trade representative, Michael Froman." (The New York Times 6/13/2015) President Obama's style of distancing himself with Congressional Democrats might be backfiring, especially at a crucial time when he needs solid congressional support.

While the Office of the President is occupied with Executive duties, nevertheless the President needs to reach out to Americans from time to time and have an honest two-way conversation and not merely give speeches. Congress especially has the greater need to listen to their constituencies and act according to the will of the district. Some people have voiced concerns regarding the TPP Agreement, and while Congress has listened, the President merely has focused on lecturing.

The TPP agreement has benefits as well as costs to the American economy, and people should wait until the final details are decided upon to voice their opinions. However, President Obama's armchair lecturing on how Congress ought to vote without acknowledging the public anxiety on the ongoing negotiation might backfire, regardless of the merit of the agreement.

It is puzzling that a President who is praised with his communication skills is criticized for being out of touch with the anxious public in this crucial time of his Presidency.


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