Saturday, 26 July 2008

Obama is the American Tony Blair

Maybe the arrival of Obama in the UK tonight will distract attention from the media story of Brown's disaster. Notably Obama is keen to meet with Blair and tolerating a meeting with Brown.

Says it all really.

However, my own view is that Obama is the US Blair. He has little to say, this excellent post by mark Wadsworth sums up his position on many things. He is has an everyman appeal and ticks all the right boxes. After George W. Bush he can be the unity candidate for America.

But he is not the leader for tough times, he is a leader for a Clinton era. I can't see his experience and leadership helping the US through the middle of the recession and potential war.

Back home is is well in hock to protectionist unions for example; no real free trade expansion, perhaps even a repeal of Nafta.His other plans such as using Government funds to pick manufacturing winners and such like is straight out of a 1970's socialist playbook.

The only area he has a good view on is predatory lending which is a scourge in both the US and UK and is a nasty development from the past few years of ultra-cheap credit.

Like Blair, some of his words are grandiose and he has the common touch, but like Blair I don;t think he has the convictions to follow-up on to make real change. Blair talked of renewal and making Britain a young country - what did he achieve - huge debts and little real improvement in public services, mass immigration and a huge public sector.

What will Obama do in his 4 years?


Mark Wadsworth said...

Ta for mention, but there's no link to anything.

Nick Drew said...

the decade-long Blair phenomenon of emptiness and waste shows just how low the Conservatives sank in public esteem, almost irredeemably so

(look at Redwood, Letwin, Willetts - and remember ...)

the Obama thing probably says the same about Bush

Anonymous said...

Get another 4? It's obviously hard to tell in advance how well an American President will do. When I read the journalists and historians, I realise that it seems to be awfully hard to tell in retrospect too.
For example, how can anyone think that JFK was anything but a dud? But "Camelot" they gush, and witter on about his wonders.

Mark Wadsworth said...

D, in hindsight, is it not broadly agreed that e.g. Nixon wasn't that bad, and Reagan, G Bush snr and Clinton were good rather than bad.

JFK, as you say, was an unmitigated disaster, as were LBJ and G Bush jr. Poor old Jimmy Carter always gets a bad press as well, it was never clear to me why.

asquith said...

No one is voting for him out of enthusiasm... or at least, if anyone did, they would be an unmitigated twat. It's a question of keeping out McCain.

It all reminds me of the people who put pegs over the noses and voted Labour in 2005, out of fear of Howard.

It isn't pleasant, but what can you do?

Anonymous said...

I think you're jumping the gun by implying he is already president of the US. He has only won the democrat nomination, not the Oval office.

He is getting huge press over here, and the Yanks seem to like him, though not really much better than McCain.

In the Presidential race he is going to find the going much tougher than the democrat nomination; jeez look at who he was up against.

First thing he has to get over is being black, which is not a race issue but a simple fact for US voters. He also has to get over his middle name and muslim background. He also has to get over been gaffe prone and shown to be a liar and cheat, like Hilary Clinton for sure which is why he got away with it largely.

Clinton never recovered from the withering comment, "You are no Jack Kennedy..." and Obama will not recover from trying to make himself a Kennedy with his Berlin stunt; works in Europe, but in the US?

All that is before they start on policy and is only just a quick look at what he offers and what he has done in the past.

I don't think it is even close to being a done deal.

Old BE said...

I don't want either Obama or McCain. This really is a race to find the least-worst president.

RobW said...

Can America get any worse?

Mark Wadsworth said...

Houdini: Clinton never recovered from the withering comment, "You are no Jack Kennedy..."

Wasn't that something Lloyd Bentsen said to Dan Quayle in a TV interview?

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