December 23, 2009

THE COMPARISONS RUN MUCH DEEPER:

From 'Yes, we can' to 'No, we can't': Great presidents make the political weather; yet Obama is hobbled by America’s recession (Adrian Hamilton, 23 December 2009, Independent)

If the year 2009 started with the promise of a new President coming to power in America, it is ending with the picture of just how limited is that power, not just for himself but for America as a whole.

The fractious end to the Copenhagen talks on climate change, the deepening impasse in the Middle East, the hesitant commitment of more troops to Afghanistan, the intensifying confrontation with Iran – it is hard to avoid the feeling that somehow a President who promised so much has been unable to break free of the past and that his moment is somehow now passing. The President who set out to be so different from his predecessor, George W Bush, is now being compared more and more to Bush Senior, a man of decency, pragmatism and good intentions, who ended his single term not so much as a failure but as an also ran in the list of America's best leaders.


GHWB was, likewise, uninterested in the presidency. He just wanted to add the next line on his resume. Like the UR he had no agenda for governing and was an inept public speaker, so had no direction in which to lead us, nor the skills to lead. Then too, both men had the bad luck to follow larger than life figures, presidents who ran on big ideas and defended them eloquently.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 23, 2009 6:36 AM
blog comments powered by Disqus
« HERE'S A TEST FOR MR. FRATES: | Main | THE TRIUMP OF HOPEY OVER CHANGEY: »