CNN Opinion: For president, two pragmatic problem-solvers
In this fall's election, writes Julian Zelizer, both tickets will be headed by practical, nonideological candidates.
April 24th, 2012
01:27 PM ET

CNN Opinion: For president, two pragmatic problem-solvers

By Julian Zelizer, CNN Contributor

This presidential election tells us something unexpected about American politics. For all the talk about polarization and discord in Washington, it appears that both parties will have pragmatic problem-solvers at the top of their tickets.

Democrats have accepted four more years with a pragmatist. President Barack Obama has consistently been willing to anger members of his own party by reaching out to Republicans and often embracing their issues, such as deficit reduction. Rather than a fighting for an ideological agenda, he has instead focused on one problem at a time and accepted the constraints that he faces.

Republicans are settling on former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who has spent much of his career avoiding ideological purity. By all accounts, one of his virtues as a leader has been his eagerness to delve into difficult problems and his willingness to experiment when trying to find solutions.

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