Obama Pushes iPod Government

Obama also employs nudges in his proposals for making credit card and mortgage terms easier to understand and he has adopted a Goolsbee proposal to simplify tax filings by offering people with no outside income or itemized deductions a prepared tax return that they can simply sign and return.

Sunstein thinks Obama's "libertarian paternalist" instinct can also be seen in his reluctance to resort to mandates.

"Obama shows signs of being more of a libertarian paternalist than Hillary Clinton," said Sunstein. "What I would single out for Obama is two things: for health care, it's revealing that she has a mandate and he doesn't."

"In responding to the mortgage crisis," he continued, "Sen. Clinton has proposed a [five-year] freeze … on [subprime] interest rates. Obama has resisted that strongly in favor of a disclosure policy, which is very much in the spirit of libertarian paternalism."

ABC News' Talal Al-Khatib and Mike Elmore contributed to this report.

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