Posts Tagged ‘Gregor Peter Schmitz’

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.

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USA | Det finns idag ett brett missnöje även bland Barack Obamas mest devota anhängare över vad presidenten lyckats åstadkomma.

Detta skriver man i en utmärkt längre essay i tidskriften Der Spiegel.

Frågan är då om Mitt Romney skulle bli en bättre president? Författarnas svar är ”definitivt inte”.

(Den tyska texten finns inte tillgänglig direkt på hemsidan men däremot en engelsk översättning.)

Ullrich Fichtner, Marc Hujer och Gregor Peter Schmitz skriver i Der Spiegel:

To fairly judge his presidency, one has to go through the list of his kept and broken promises. Based on that criterion, Obama’s performance falls within the ”above-average” category when compared to the 11 US presidents since World War II. It is a modest success, the kind that many politicians would welcome. But it cannot seriously be enough for Obama.

As irrational and naïve as it always was to hail him as a savior, and as unfair as it is to compare his actions with his charisma, he portrayed himself as the shining knight of change. The word appeared prominently in his campaign and his slogan ”Yes we can!” circled the globe. But now the prevailing feeling in America, even among the president’s supporters, is that Obama has failed to deliver in many respects.


Proposed legislation that would normally be uncontroversial has been blocked for years, while senior positions in the judiciary and in government agencies have remained unfilled. Necessary supplementary budgets are only being approved at the last minute, and only because not approving them could result in a national bankruptcy.

In this climate, no president stands a chance of shaping the world according to his platform. In 2011, Obama is dealing with a Republican-controlled House of Representatives that refuses to budge even a single millimeter. The civil, democratic concept of compromise has been ruined, the concept has become a taboo for Republicans. The Republicans have become so stubborn that they are even blocking bills identical to legislation they proposed in the past.

As a result Washington, already long disparaged as an aloof, out-of-touch capital, has become an object of hate for many citizens, and the epitome of mediocrity and incompetence.


But what is the campaign really about? A review of Obama’s domestic policy performance in the first years of his presidency yields a list of clear successes, which he now rattles off at every campaign event. They include his $787 million economic stimulus package, which prevented the economy from collapsing after the 2008 financial crisis, and the government bailouts of the American auto industry, which helped turn things around in Detroit. Obama claims credit for fighting for the rights of gays and lesbians, and he hopes to be remembered as the president who launched the biggest healthcare reform in the nation’s history, which helped provide 32 million people with health insurance.

Each of these achievements is impressive in its own right, but the list of Obama’s domestic successes pretty much stops there, and it doesn’t coalesce into a sizeable, comprehensible agenda of ”Change.” He has also had some serious failures. Last summer, for example, Obama took his biggest beating yet in his bid to achieve national reconciliation when he failed to force the Republicans to compromise on a long-term budget, even though the government was on the verge of bankruptcy.


Does it need a new president? The question is certainly justified. What has Obama done to address his large country’s many serious problems? Not enough. Could he have done more, not just at home but in the rest of the world? Probably. Have the Republicans starved him? Undoubtedly. But would their candidate Mitt Romney, the mysterious, filthy rich Mormon, be the better president? Most certainly not.

Bild: Tidskriftsomslaget ovan är daterat den 11 juni 2012.

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