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Goodwin: Obama should channel Roosevelt

In their analysis and previews of President Obama's economic speech today in Kansas, the Washington Post and Politico, among others, have highlighted presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin’s advice to President Obama on Meet the Press two weeks ago when she advised Obama to take his cue from another president: Theodore Roosevelt.

The post-partisanship goals that Obama had hoped to achieve “had to go,”  Goodwin said, but neither could he model Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “happy warrior” model against his Republican opponents. Instead, she urged Obama to take on Teddy Roosevelt’s populist but balanced language. Goodwin noted that the president had started to do so with his reaction to the deficit supercommittee failure: “[I]t was the idea that people want fairness, they want balance – that’s what Teddy Roosevelt was all about; every sentence was balance.”

President Obama's speech today will take place in Osawatomie, Kansas -- the same place where Roosevelt delivered a famous address laying out his progressive policies 101 years ago. White House aides have said that the setting is meant to echo the earlier President’s speech and big-picture goals. 

Doris Kearns Goodwin’s discussion of the parallels between the two presidents is in the clip below and you can read more about Obama’s Kansas speech today – and the Republican reaction -- via MSNBC’s First Read.

Doris Kearns Goodwin, Michael Beschloss, Michael Eric Dyson, Jon Meacham and Rich Lowry offer their opinions on what the president's strategy should be if he wants to win in 2012.