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March 15, 2011

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Tony

I think this is spot on.

Funnily enough - I suspect this may not be a view with which you have much sympathy - I feel somewhat similarly about David Cameron. There have been moments since he assumed the premiership when I have genuinely felt that he is set to exceed all expectations, that we have as Prime Minister a cunning strategist with the potential to be a very good PM indeed. Then other times I've found myself thinking that perhaps he is just a knee-jerk tactician, the over-hyped PR man his critics have always alleged. I suspect the two aren't mutually exclusive, though I'm inclining toward the latter interpretation more as time goes by.

Chris

I thought that Obama was Clinton, not Ike? Reagan?

Really, can we stop with the pointless comparisons, it’s beginning to grate.

As for the lack of ‘vigah’ in Obama’s foreign policy my own take is that he is being bounced around by Clinton and the other hawks in the NSC establishment. I think his gut is probably more dovish. He escalated Afghan when I doubt he believes in it and it was a bad decision, politically and strategically (never mind morally). Yet Gates and the military continue to make cryptic comments about never leaving. This rightly gets the base worried.

As for Egypt and Libya – again the standard line prevails. I’m no Chomsky-ite (I don’t think most Americans would actually appreciate their President actively jerking around with the stability of the oil supply) but the realpolitik is poorly disguised. So the messages of support are tepid and hollow. A Libyan intervention (I’m talking a UN-authorized NFZ here) might buoy faith in American ideals, but Obama sticks to the caution no doubt emphasized by his advisors. The same goes for Israel-Palestine. Nothing new here.

On foreign policy I certainly get the feeling that he is reading the script rather than writing it.

On domestic policy I don't know what to think.

Brooks might read this blog y'know. It is the top result for 'marbury' on Google (the famous court case is third, behind an NBA player). The popularity is well deserved.

elemjay

Commanders need to command, leaders need to lead. He does get (eventually) where he wants to go, but it looks pretty painful in the meanwhile. Did we expect this style in office when looking at the decisive, vigorous campaign? Probably not....

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