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« Chart of the day: US nuclear weapon stockpile | Main | Trying to drive a wedge between Gates and Obama »
12:04PM

WPR's The New Rules: For U.S. and World, Obama Spells Relief, not Cure

As somebody who voted for President Barack Obama, I am surprised to find myself believing that he is slated to be -- and more so, should be -- a one-term president, a possibility that Obama himself has already broached publicly. It's not any one thing he has or hasn't done that has led me to this admittedly premature conclusion. Rather, it's a growing realization that everything Obama brings to the table in terms of both deeds and vision suggests that history will judge him to be a transitional figure. He is a much-needed leveling-off from Bush-Cheney's nosebleed-inducing foreign policy trajectory, no doubt. But he is not "the One," in whom so much hope was invested for the revitalization of this clearly disoriented superpower.

Read more at World Politics Review

Reader Comments (13)

This article is too complex for your readers (who read all your books and weblog). I wish you would give your readers a straight forward description of your article. I read again and I still do not understand what you are really getting at. Please clarify.

May 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Lew Chan

Transition or transformation? Very hard for people to have insight during the process.

May 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLouis Heberlein

I understand the allure of the "Obama" wave. He is not the 'old white guy' that is the norm, he is not a 'baby boomer', and he has amazing rhetorical skill.

However, why would anyone expect a community organizer, who has been able to skillfully move up the chain quickly, to be anything different than the system that he came from? I mean 'Chicago style politics'.

Looking at his district, I don't see any great work... in fact it appears to be a dismal failure that keeps asking for more federal $$$....

The growth of the federal government is frightening in terms of its accountability. Unions, federal employees, etc., who somehow are insulated from the reality of the market place will be the downfall of this country if its not brought under control.

Innovation is our way out.

May 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDan Hare

If he continues with another term, and heavily influences the next president, then I can see him being compared to Teddy Roosevelt.

May 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua Sterns

David,

I see Obama largely as a response to Bush (corrective), but not a true innovator--outside of campaigning.

When I think of what America must next become, I don't think his administration will be viewed as seminal--but rather transitional. He's a breather, but not a breathe of fresh air.

To date, he does not alter the deeply-but-closely-divided nature of our electorate. He just presides over better than Bush.

I always hope for better, but this is what I chose to write this week. I simply like to write from where I'm at.

May 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTom Barnett

That's what I'm talking about! More stars on our flag. Yeah, baby! Rather than reduce the size of the stars, though, to fit more in, why not extend the blue part of Old Glory down, the way the Texas flag does theirs?

Then Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Philippines one can be admitted (1898 version 2.0), Liberia (1845 version 2.0). And the mother of all absorptions ...Great Britain (1776 version 2.0).... After that perhaps the likes of Haiti, Dominican Republic (they once asked to be admitted), Baja California, Mexico (why should Alta California be separated from its twin?)

The rest of the world will have to wait in line and need more convincing.

Perhaps modern incarnations of filibuster like William Walker (Nicaragua) are in the making as we speak.

I know I would like to be.

One World Government, here we come! Yipee!

Viva America!

May 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertom leto

Great article. Have talked to a lot of folks with buyers remorse about voting for Obama. Your article pretty much sums up most of what I have heard from them.

Can't stress this enough...Chicago politics and corruption. President Obama is a product of that school and his presidency and handling of many issues is a direct reflection of Chicago machine politics, ideas, methods and unfortunately results.

May 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMark Fragale

I will stipulate the Chicago thing, but I think the bigger problem is that we've got lawyers and senators as leaders, and both tend to take what circumstances give them, doing their best.

But leadership? I see none.

I've always preferred governors and still do. I was stunned we ended up with Hillary, McCain and Obama as the final three.

May 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTom Barnett

I'm sympathetic to the sentiment of this article. Big changes and bold vision is needed, but we don't seem to be getting any. I wonder if large GOP gains in the fall will force Obama to focus less on domestic affairs and more on international ones. It's definitely premature to wish him to be a one-termer without seeing the field of potential replacements. I don't see anyone yet who fits the mold you're seeking. Who know? The new NSS could surprise, but I doubt it.

May 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel Johns

"I was stunned we ended up with Hillary, McCain and Obama as the final three.".

Okay...who would you like to have seen run & win?

VC

May 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVCarter

Honestly, in retrospect, the alternatives were total crap shoots: Hillary reveals herself the visionary radical, or McCain does the same.

Or both turn out to be exactly who they are.

This is the danger of relying on individuals, thus the importance of our institutions.

May 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTom Barnett

It's discouraging to have yet another president that doesn't have the "Vision Thing."

But if Obama and Arne Duncan can successfully pull off their Race to the Top, education reform, then he would deserve a second term for that reason alone. And there is some hope as the following article points out, maybe as significant as, "Nixon in China":

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/23/magazine/23Race-t.html?pagewanted=1&ref=general&src=me

A key quote:

“That President Obama did this is a total game changer,” says Pastorek, the Louisiana schools superintendent, who is a Republican working for a Republican governor, Bobby Jindal. “If he really sticks to this, education will never be the same.”

May 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGerry Myers

I have to ask, as the author of the first post on this blog did, what are trying to get at in your piece. I think Robert Gilpin stated it best towards the end of his book, "War & Change in WOrld Politics," when he talks about the retrenchment of the United States, though his discussion in the book related to the Vietnam War. Nevertheless, we are in the position that we are in now for most of the same reasons that he wrote about. He gives two paths (maybe three if I'm mistaken) in addressing the problem, none of which has a expedited solution as you seem to suggest that there needs to be in your article. Although I voted for Obama, as well, and am not trying to defend him, but I have to ask whom this leader is that Obama is clearing the way for? This country has become way too polarized for any individual to come in and take an even more pragmatic approach to this country's crisis (all one has to do is read some responses on this blog to see that people think you're having buyers remorse and are happy to see that). I have an idea why you wrote this piece. It is typical of your deterministic writing style (and I enjoy reading your books and articles), but confusing nonetheless. Just wnated to offer my thoughts.

May 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrian B

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