My early 2009 take on Obama

I wrote it for a Spanish-language periodical, here is the end bit:

There is plenty of talk about Obama being half-black but perhaps the more important fact is that Obama is from Hawaii. Many Hawaiians barely think of themselves as North Americans and they live thousands of miles from the continent. The Hawaiian background is part of where Obama’s cosmopolitanism – which is strong and sincere – comes from.

My description may sound like a very favorable portrait of Obama on economics but he will likely encounter serious problems if he wins the election.  The important American Presidents are those like Reagan who “know a few big things” and push them unceasingly, without much regard for the pragmatic or even the reasonable.  Obama is not used to connecting with mainstream America and if he wins it is because the country is fed up with Republicans, not because the voters have absolute confidence in him.  Congress will test him.  The chance that he makes big mistakes will be small, and that’s all for the better.  But the best prediction is that he will be ineffective in tackling most of America’s biggest problems.

Here is the whole thing, not entirely correct by any means, but not so far off the mark either.


Comments for this post are closed