Daniel Schorr on NPR: "The president tends to seek conflict resolution rather than drama. He has been compared to Franklin D. Roosevelt, confronted with an economic crisis. But Roosevelt closed the banks to avoid a run on them. Obama, on the other hand, joined in on a rescue effort for the ailing financial institutions. FDR enlisted 8.5 million of the unemployed into a federal workforce. The incumbent sponsors a complicated stimulus, or recovery package, intended to work through the states and localities.
Faced with Democratic objections to elements in his 10-year budget, he invites suggestions for alternatives. And he doesn't appear to be perturbed when House Republican John Boehner calls his budget "the most irresponsible piece of legislation" he has seen.
There is a sense that Obama is employing his skills as a community organizer, bent on conflict resolution, seeking the common ground. Tuesday night he said, "When each of us looks beyond our own short-term interest to the wider set of obligations we have toward each other, that's when we succeed."
Colin Rule has worked at the intersection of technology and conflict resolution for the last two decades. He is CEO of Modria.com, an online dispute resolution service provider in Silicon Valley, and a non-resident Fellow at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School. From 2003 to 2011, he served as eBay and PayPal's first director of Online Dispute Resolution, designing and implementing systems that now resolve more than 60 million disputes each year. Mr. Rule is the author of Online Dispute Resolution for Business, published by Jossey-Bass in September 2002. He has presented and trained around the world for organizations including the U.S. Department of State, UNCITRAL, the International Chamber of Commerce, and the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, as well as teaching at UMass-Amherst, Stanford, Southern Methodist University, and Hastings College of the Law. He has written and been interviewed extensively about the Internet since 1999, with columns and articles appearing in ACResolution, Consensus, Dispute Resolution Magazine, and Peace Review. He holds a master's degree from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government in conflict resolution and technology, a B.A. in peace studies from Haverford College, and he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Eritrea from 1995-1997.