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Posts Tagged ‘Herbert Hoover’

IMAGE | Det är lite av en tradition att presidentens fru skall ställa upp för amerikanska modemagasinet Vogue.

Vogue (USA) april 2013

Det började på 1920-talet när Lou Henry Hoover, president Herbert Hoovers fru, fotograferades av Edward Steichen.

Bättre PR får man leta efter. Riskerna är minimala. Frågorna är softa. Och bilderna alltid smickrande.

Trots att allt är väldigt orkestrerat får också i bästa fall också en känsla för hur huvudpersonen bakom titlarna.

Och ingen gör så bra PR för presidentparet som presidentparet själva.

En kort tid efter valet intervjuade Jonathan Van Meter med First Lady Michelle Obama och president Barack Obama

When I ask the First Lady if her husband’s mellow nature is what gets interpreted as “aloof,” she says, “Absolutely. I mean, I don’t know what people expect to see in a president. Maybe they want him to yell and scream at somebody at some point. Sometimes I’d like him to do that.” She laughs and looks at him. “But that’s just not how he deals with stress. And I think that’s something we want in our leaders.”

“It is true that I don’t get too high or I don’t get too low, day to day,” the president says. “Partly because I try to bring to the job a longer-term time frame. I’m a history buff, and I know that big changes take time. But I also know that, setting politics aside, usually things are never as good as you think they are or as bad as you think they are. And that has served me well temperamentally.”

[…]

As White House Press Secretary Jay Carney reminded me, the Obamas went from relative anonymity to worldwide superfame—potent symbols of once-unimaginable progress—in the blink of an eye. Most couples take the long road to the White House; the Obamas’ zip-line arrival left them no time to develop the public personas presumed to be essential for surviving a life subject to that level of scrutiny. “There is a distance that naturally happens as you rise up the political ladder,” says Jarrett. “And I think because his rise happened so fast there was no time to create that distance.”

[…]

The president chooses to see their rapid ascent as an advantage. “I think that’s been very helpful . . .” he says. “We were pretty much who we are by the time I hit the national scene. We didn’t grow up or come of age under a spotlight. We were anonymous folks. I was a state senator, but nobody knows who a state senator is. So most of our 30s and 40s were as a typical middle-class family. . . . That really didn’t change until I was 45 years old. And there’s something about having lived a normal life and raised kids.”

[…]

“Now, in fairness,” says the president, “there is one thing that’s changed.” The First Lady looks at him. “What’s that?”

“Which is, I used to only have, like, two suits,” he says.

Now you must have dozens, I say.

“Thank God,” she says. “Now, let me tell you: This is the man who still boasts about, This khaki pair of pants I’ve had since I was 20.” The president throws his head back, laughing. “And I’m like, ‘You don’t want to brag about that.’ ” Jay Carney and the young staffers from the White House press office, who are all sitting on a sofa on the other side of the room, crack up.

“Michelle’s like Beyoncé in that song,” says the president. “ ‘Let me upgrade ya!’ She upgraded me.”

“The girls and I are always rooting when he wears, like, a stripe. They’re like, ‘Dad! Oh, you look so handsome. Oh, stripes! You go!’ ”

Bild: Tidskriftsomslaget är amerikanska Vogue, april 2013. Fotograf var Annie Leibovitz. Detta är inte första gången hon fotograferar en presient.

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VALRÖRELSE | Stort som smått blandas när Världens Historia blickar tillbaka på amerikanska valrörelser under 224 år.

Här förklaras bl.a. skillnaden mellan ”administration” och ”government”, betydelsen av ”gerrymandering” och vad ”the Kennedy effect” innebär och varför ”swing states” är så viktiga för valresultatet.

Här om uttrycket ”Yellow dog democrat”.

Uttrycket ”yellow dog democrat” kommer från sydstaten Texas där lojala demokratiska väljare hävdade att om så Jesus ställde upp i valet för republikanerna och demokraternas kandidat var en gammal gul hund, skulle de ändå rösta på demokraternas kandidat.

Att kallas för ”gul hund” är ingen förolämpning utan snarare en ära eftersom det vittnar om stor lojalitet. Uttrycket blev populärt under presidentvalskampanjen mellan demokraten Al Smith och republikanen Herbert Hoover år 1928, då många demokratiska väljare i södern varken tyckte om Al Smiths politik eller hans katolska tillhörighet, men röstade på honom ändå. År 1964, när demokratiske presidenten Lyndon B. Johnson införde lika rättigheter för svarta amerikaner blev det dock för mycket för söderns gula hundar. Johnson motkandidat gick till val som motståndare till medborgarrättigheterna och vann i sydstaterna.

I dag har de gula hundarna fått sällskap av ”Blue dog democrats” – konservativa demokrater – och södern är fortfarande primärt republikanskt.

Bild: Tidskriftsomslaget är Världens Historia nr 15 2012.

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EKONOMI | När vi nu närmar oss valet i USA kommer alltfler utvärderingar av Barack Obamas första tid i Vita huset.

“To win reelection, Barack Obama can’t just persuade voters the economy is improving. He has to make them believe he’s the reason why”, skriver Joshua Green och Peter Coy i en längre analys i Bloomberg Businessweek.

He can make a strong case that he’s gotten some big things right. His administration halted the worst downturn since the Great Depression and rescued the financial sector with a plan that drew on private, rather than public, funds to recapitalize ailing banks. Despite the best efforts of an intractable Congress, he kept the government from shutting down or defaulting on its debt, which bought the economy time to heal.

But Obama and his advisers also failed to recognize the shape and scope of the crisis and hesitated to push for new jobs programs once they did.

[…]

Unlike Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush, Obama isn’t identified with a clear economic philosophy. During his presidency, he’s advocated spending more money to create jobs, cutting the deficit, and investing for the long term—sometimes all at once. “President Obama’s economic approach is deeply pragmatic,” says his former adviser, Lawrence Summers. Others are less generous. “I can’t infer a theory,” says Glenn Hubbard, Columbia Business School dean and former economic adviser to Bush. “I’ve watched the president for a long time, and he’s very smart, but he doesn’t have a policy rudder,” says Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who ran the Congressional Budget Office in the Bush years and advised Senator John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign.

[…]

Did his actions hasten the recovery, or prolong the slump? His aides argue that things could have been worse; but could they have been appreciably better? And what exactly guides Obama’s decisions?

[…]

Obama often points out that he’s had to contend with the gravest financial crisis of any president since Franklin Roosevelt. One difference, though, is that Roosevelt consistently took up sweeping new policies if he thought they could help, even risky or unproven ones.

[…]

Obama’s major economic policy decisions were guided by a much different spirit, a cautious, results-oriented pragmatism that is the heart of Obamanomics. Like John Maynard Keynes, Obama believes government can and should act to alleviate downturns with higher spending and tax cuts. But he’s disinclined to challenge political constraints, settling for what he’s able to get.

[…]

His caution is a striking contrast to candidate Obama, who seemed to embody radical change. As president, he’s steered an imperfect course that has nonetheless brought the U.S. to a position of economic stability and modest growth.

[…]

The choices Obama made helped bring about this result, even though he had help from the Fed, and even though they don’t quite explain the recent strength of the recovery. But the business cycle operates by a logic all its own. It cursed Herbert Hoover and blessed Ronald Reagan. Obama’s good fortune is that this sudden upturn is occurring just when he needs it most.

Bild: Texten och tidskriftsomslaget ovan är från Bloomberg Businessweek den 26 mars-1 april 2012.

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