Here's the best thing I've seen so far on the issue of whether President Obama should be "tough" or "reasonable". It's a critique, but a "friendly" one, and comes at the question from a sociological perspective about how groups function to encourage normative conduct.
No, You Can't
By Shankar Vedantam
It is worth reading if only for the last line, which I will preview here
"Memo to Obama: Being unreasonable all the time is crazy, but if you're always reasonable, you might as well hang a sign around your neck that says, "Exploit Me." "