Vir Cantium

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Category Archives: America

First Of Many

The White House website runs a weekly video digest of what the President has been up to. This week, of course, it includes Barack Obama making that ‘phone call on Tuesday evening to David Cameron (at around 2:55) (via @SamuelCoates and @BrittanyVGreer).

President Obama speaking to newly appointed Prime Minister David Cameron by 'phoneNewly appointed Prime Minister David Cameron speaking to President Obama by 'phone.

Obamamania Reaches Its Climax

Historic, blah blah blah, hope, blah blah.

Now for the uninformed punditry. As I don’t claim to be an expert on US politics, I will be using the analogy method to sound like I know what I’m talking about.

Will Obama be a new Kennedy? Notwithstanding the truncated term in office, JFK was not an outstanding president, other than the fortuitous playing out of the Cuban Missile Crisis and deft handling of the ensuing public relations.

Maybe a Carter – unimpressive once in office and need we mention the Iranian hostage debacle?

Or Maybe a Clinton – all the talk of hope does give one a sense of déjà-vu, but the real failings of Clinton’s administration only became evident after he left office, in his failure to deal with Al-Qaeda. To be fair, though, Clinton was probably more fiscally conservative than his successor in the Oval Office.

Or perhaps Americans have just elected their own Tony Blair. If so, the U.S. can look forward to two terms of gradual deflation in their hopes and dreams, matched with equally gradual erosion of freedom and increasing tax burdens.

The difference is, and this will be the interesting bit, that Blair had the benefit of a buoyant domestic and global economy, so was never truly tested. How will Obama fare? It may be that the Bush administration has endured the worst of the pain and the Obama years will encompass the natural swing back to prosperity as the world moves out of recession, but will Obama’s antipathy towards free trade and natural tendency towards higher tax throttle the recovery?

I will now finish sounding like a true pundit (i.e. who frankly hasn’t got a clue how things will turn out) …

Interesting times lie ahead.