So President Obama needs to retrieve that. And I do think he has restored a role for government, which in my view is the overarching issue of our time. I -- I -- I think on Afghanistan, the escalation on Afghanistan, he didn't break with the national security consensus, which so many believed he could have had the courage to do.
And, again, we -- banks, the bank bailout. This is confused by so many Americans with the stimulus, which was the largest net new investment in anti-poverty programs in this country. He must take on the greed in this country. He must say, "I am on the side of working people." And the White House is beginning to.
VANDEN HEUVEL: ... but the levy on banks is critical. So is the financial transactions tax and a windfall on bonuses. And then, will financial reform take on the army of lobbyists and show you are on the side of the people? That is the arc of history in our country.
TAPPER: But I'm amazed you gave him a -- with all these things you want him to do, I'm amazed you gave him a B.
VANDEN HEUVEL: Because I believe that there's the potential -- and you know what? I believe it because I still think that he is open to pressure from below, and that is where great social change has come in this country. Donna and I were talking earlier. If Martin Luther King, Jr., were alive, he would march on this White House because he would say, "Don't escalate the war in Afghanistan. Get on the side of working people, because if you don't, you're going to undermine the reform agenda and the possibilities of a great presidency."
We need from below. And I think this president is capable of...
TAPPER: Mr. Will, I sense that you have something you want to say.
WILL: Well, first of all, he's hired an army of lobbyists, so it's hard for him to take on the lobbyists en masse. Donna said you graded on a curve, and I gather that means you graded him against Chester Arthur and Millard Fillmore and James Buchanan. Fair enough.
Look, in -- in foreign policy -- and my grade is a B-minus for him -- in foreign policy...
TAPPER: That's a pretty good grade for you.
WILL: Well, not because I approve of what he's doing. He wasn't elected to do what I want him to do, and to be a good -- to be a president with the mandate as he construes it.
In foreign policy, he has achieved in one year the constructive result of demonstrating that the problem was not George W. Bush. He has shown that you can be immensely popular and that has no cash value dealing with the Israelis and the Palestinians, the North Koreans, the Iranians, climate change, et cetera.
In his anti-terrorism policy, he's essentially extended the Bush policies. And in domestic policy, he has done in one year what it took Lyndon Johnson two years to do, between 1965 and '66, which is revitalize the Republican Party.
TAPPER: Tucker, I feel like I'm going to the Russian judge in the Olympics.
CARLSON: Oh, thank you very much.
TAPPER: Your grade?
CARLSON: I gave him a D, and I did it only because he answered Oprah's question. Any seasoned politician would say, "Far be it for me to grade myself. The American people will render a judgment." And I think that's -- I'm only half-kidding. I think there's a level of political ineptitude I did not expect. I never, like George, expected him to do my bidding. You know, I don't agree with his policies.