KAMPANJ | David Gergen, som arbetat för flera amerikanska presidenter, har intervjuats om Barack Obama och det politiska läget inför valet.
”The next few years are going to be really rough. I think our political system is basically dysfunctional”, säger han till Der Spiegel.
Till skillnad från många andra i Washington har Gergen inte arbetat uteslutande för antingen republikaner eller demokrater. Han räknar sig själv som independent.
Han var t.ex. Director of Communications under Ronald Reagan och rådigare till Bill Clinton.
Marc Hujer och Gregor Peter Schmitz intervjuade. Här är ett utdrag:
SPIEGEL: Were you surprised that Obama, who was a very gifted orator in the campaign, hasn’t become a better communicator in office?
Gergen: Some of his speeches as a candidate, such as his Philadelphia speech on race, were really inspirational. I voted for Obama because l hoped that an African American coming to that job could really help to transform our culture. And the surprise for me started with his acceptance speech. It did not have the uplift that I expected. That was very disappointing. Unfortunately, that trend has continued. Obama was also overexposed in his first years in office. Recently, he has begun picking his appearances more carefully, and his popularity ratings have since improved.
Gergen: Barack Obama is a very smart man. He has many gifts. Bill Clinton is a better politician. Clinton believed right from the beginning that, in order to win the presidency, he had to put together a team that came from many different parts of the political spectrum. Obama has very good people, but they’re almost all from the same group, and they all came from Chicago. I had this conversation with him and said, ”Keep your current people; they are obviously good. But it would also be helpful if you enlarged your inner circle, bringing in people with different perspectives.”
SPIEGEL: What was Obama’s response?
Gergen: He brought in a strong businessman, Bill Daley, to help him as chief of staff, but Daley was essentially marginalized right from the beginning. He quit after less than a year on the job.
SPIEGEL: Why does Obama generate so much hatred in the country?
Gergen: I would like to believe it’s not race, but I’m sure that’s an element. But, after all, we voted for an African American. If there was so much racial hatred, he never would have gotten there. There is a quality about Obama that he sometimes seems to be lecturing you, and people resent that.
SPIEGEL: He didn’t show that trait during the campaign, did he?
Gergen: No. He changed when he became president. He has another problem: He ran a campaign in which everybody could see in him what they wanted to see. I’m a moderate centrist. I thought that he would be a moderate centrist. The left thought he was going to be one of them. There are many different people who invested their hopes in Obama, and when he had to start making choices, people discovered he’s not who they thought he was, and they got upset about that.
Bild: När Barack Obama kampanjade i South Dakota inför förra valet.