Signals Obama Could/Should Send?

This post originally appeared at Open Left.
Symbolism is very powerful, and great Presidents use it to set the tone of their Presidency. It is the “Bully Pulpit” because Presidents tell the people “this is the way it is now,” then repeat the message and they act in ways that consistently reinforce it, until the message ripples out and people start acting accordingly.
FDR took office and signaled change. What could be more dramatic that his first 100 days? Message: The government will from now on be on the side of the People.
Reagan certainly signaled change. Message: The government will now be on the side of the wealthy. The rest of you are on your own.
Bush II certainly signaled change. People understood that we will be a country ruled by men, not laws. (And he meant men. Wealthy, white men.)
What has Obama signaled? What tone has he set? What actions have backed up his words? What new direction does the country understand we are following?
More below the fold.

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