Tuesday, March 17, 2009

long view

Daily, election style coverage of politics in the US is a destructive and distracting diversion from thoughtful and necessary analysis of what the hell is going on. Who cares if Obama is up or down, or is using up political capital? He is going to be president for a while, and as we have seen, we have no idea where we will be in six months, let alone come next election. The issue for this country is how can the administration have a positive, restorative impact on a reeling economy. The issue that is covered is how this effort is playing, not how effective it is. One thing I trust about Barack Obama and his core team is that they have a long view. I think they know that daily shifts in popularity are irrelevant. Obama will be completely on the hook for the direction of the country in a few months, and I think he is prepared for that. If he cannot have a positive impact on this economy, if it is beyond help, or if his prescription for help fails, he will become less popular. If he can move us beyond a downward cycle, into a recovery, he will remain popular. If there are international events that he manages well, or unites the country behind, he stays in office. If he is overwhelmed by some crisis and is incapable of managing it, he will be vulnerable. But these are circumstances that will take months and years to develop.

Ignore daily analysis of popularity; of political capital; of who is up and who is down; it makes no difference. Where we are going, and how this president can shape that journey will take a long time to develop.

1 comment:

  1. I generally agree with your assessment of Obama's reign. Sound bites, spin and vitriol frequently substitute for thoughtful analysis. The talking heads drive me nuts....all of them.

    But isn't that what the Twittering classes expect?



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