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Posts Tagged ‘President’

VITA HUSET | Hur många år kan man vara president i USA. Åtta år? Fel. Rätt svar är 10 år.

Bild av Steve Brodner

Om en vicepresident tillträder presidentämbetet två år före mandatperiodens slut och sedan väljs två gånger kan det totalt bli tio år.

Bild: Steve Brodner.

Steve Brodners teckningar hittar man bl.a. i Mother Jones, The New Yorker och Harper’s. Se fler teckningar på SteveBrodner.com.

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VITA HUSET | Kan en utvärdering av en sittande president bli rättvis? James Fallows, ”national correspondent”, på The Atlantic har lyckats väl.

Lägger man ihop erfarenheterna så här långt har Barack Obama gjort tillräckligt för att mandatperioden inte skall kunna definieras som ett misslyckande.

Det är inte alltför svårt att föreställa sig att en mindre kompetent person skulle ha lyckats betydligt sämre. Inte minst med tanke på den svåra ekonomiska situation han ärvde när han tillträdde.

”The evidence suggests that given a second term, he would have a better chance of becoming the figure so many people imagined”, skriver Fallows.

Men det hänger på att han blir återvald. Utan en sådan framgång kommer hela hans första mandatperiod att bedömas i skenet av valförlusten.

Has Obama in office been anything like the chess master he seemed in the campaign, whose placid veneer masked an ability to think 10 moves ahead, at which point his adversaries would belatedly recognize that they had lost long ago? Or has he been revealed as just a pawn—a guy who got lucky as a campaigner but is now pushed around by political opponents who outwit him and economic trends that overwhelm him?

[…]

What I feel I’ve learned about Obama is that he was unready for the presidency and temperamentally unsuited to it in many ways. Yet the conjunction of right-wing hostility to his programs and to his very presence in office, with left-wing disappointment in his economic record and despair about his apparent inability to fight Republicans on their own terms, led to an underappreciation of his skills and accomplishments—an underappreciation that is as pronounced as the overestimation in those heady early days. Unprepared, yes. Cool to the point of chilly, yes. For all his ability to inspire and motivate people en masse, for all his advertised emphasis on surrounding himself with a first-rate “team of rivals,” Obama appears to have been unsavvy in the FDR-like arts of getting the best from his immediate team and continuing to attract the best people to him.

[…]

His reflections in public have tended to be anodyne laments about the failure of bipartisan spirit; he can’t possibly believe it’s that innocent. But those around him make the case that in addition to being very unlucky (in the circumstances he inherited) and very lucky (in the Republican field that chose to run against him), Obama also shaped his luck by being shrewd, in three significant ways. First, according to this view, he always kept his eye on what mattered most, namely avoiding another recession—and compromised and backtracked only when, in his assessment, the alternative would have been a greater economic risk. Next, he absorbed pummeling by Republicans not so much because he was weak or unsuspecting as because he recognized problems the over-reaching opposition was creating for itself, much as he had during the 2008 primaries (and much as Bill Clinton had in 1995). And finally, that while like all presidents he came in unprepared, he adjusted as fast as anyone could have expected and was increasingly in control of events as time went on.

[…]

If Barack Obama loses this fall, he will forever seem a disappointment: a symbolically important but accidental figure who raised hopes he could not fulfill and met difficulties he did not know how to surmount. He meant to show the unity of America but only underscored its division. As a candidate, he symbolized transformation; in office, he applied incrementalism and demonstrated the limits of change. His most important achievement, helping forestall a second Great Depression, will be taken for granted or discounted in the dismay about the economic problems he did not solve. His main legislative accomplishment, the health-care bill, may well be overturned; his effect on America’s international standing will pass; his talk about bridging the partisan divide will seem one more sign of his fatal naïveté. If he is reelected, he will have a chance to solidify what he has accomplished and, more important, build on what he has learned. All of this is additional motivation, as if he needed any, for him to drive for reelection; none of it makes him any more palatable to those who oppose him and his goals.

And for those who supported him the first time, as I did? To me, the evidence suggests that given a second term, he would have a better chance of becoming the figure so many people imagined.

Övrigt: Tidskriftsomslaget och artikeln ovan är från The Atlantic mars 2012.

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NYHETSMAGASINET Tempus har i senaste numret reportage om partiintriger och valrörelser i USA, Argentina och Bangladesh.

Även om huvudartikeln och omslaget med Rick Perry handlar om republikanernas presidentvalskampanj i USA är artiklarna om president Cristina Fernándes de Kirchner och premiärminister Sheikh Hasina betydligt intressantare.

Om premiärminister Sheikh Hasina i Bangladesh:

Ställd inför allmänna val om några år, borde Sheikh Hasina kanske hoppas på att förstärka demokratin och övertyga väljarna att välja om henne […] Tyvärr, om man ska döma efter hennes uppförande nyligen, försöker hon i stället att krossa oppositionen och åstadkomma en valbojkott samtidigt som hon tystar kritiker.

[…]

Bekymmer sammast är den snabba omskrivningen av konstitutionen […] Den som vågar kritisera den kan anklagas för uppvigling. […] Bara att så mycket som stödja ett sådant klagomål är nu olagligt.

Tankebrott kan bli nästa steg.

Om president Kirchner i Argentina:

Hon har stöd av en växande ekonomi och en splittrad opposition, vilket alltsammans överskuggar tidigare ifrågasättanden av hennes polariserande ledarskapsstil.

Opositionsundersökningarna före primärvalen hade förutsett hennes framgång och även förutspått att den närmaste konkurrenten Ricardo Alfonsin, en kongressman från det radikala unionspartiet, skulle hamna långt efter henne.

”Frånvaron av en stark oppositionskandidat har skapat en känsla av att hon är oövervinnelig”, säger Graciela Romer, en politisk analytiker från Buenos Aires.

Övrigt: Tidskriftsomslaget ovan är nummer 33/34 av Tempus.

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TIDSKRIFTEN Smithsonian är husorgan åt institutet och museet med samma namn. April 2002 uppmärksammades president Lincolns andra istallationstal.

President Abraham Lincoln avslutade sitt briljanta men förvånansvärt korta tal på följande sätt:

With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan – to do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.

”Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address has lived under the shadow of the Gettysburg Address. And yet Lincoln thought this was his best effort”, skriver historikern Ronald C. White, Jr.

He was the average American, with only one year of education, a man who was really quite ugly in a certain sense—could he ever have campaigned today?—tall, awkward, gawky, clothes ill-fitting, with a tenor voice, almost a falsetto, and yet he was a huge man for his day, 6 feet 4 inches tall. Everything about him was against his being a powerful speaker. But once he began to speak, what people sensed was his integrity. He was not playing a role. And the audience of that day picked it up.

[…]

He had the knack of asking these simple but very profound questions. In every crisis, whether it’s September 11 or World War II, it is amazing how people return to Lincoln.

Läs mer: Artiklarna går inte att läsa på nätet men äldre nummer av Smithsonian går att beställa. Talet och mycket mer om Lincoln går att läsa på sajten Abraham Lincoln’s Classroom.

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BARACK OBAMA är på bussturné. Officiellt är det ett presidentevenemang och inte en del i hans återvalskampanj. Men ingen låter sig luras av sådana teknikaliteter.

“President Obama discusses ways to grow the economy, strengthen the middle class and accelerate hiring during his economic bus tour across the Midwest”, skriver man på Vita husets hemsida.

”President Obama wants to hear from Americans about how national economic policies are affecting life in your communities”, skriver Colleen Curtis på Vita husets blogg.

Alexis Simendinger på RealClearPolitics har en lite annorlunda vinkling:

The region of the country that has seen a measurable improvement in employment in the last year is the Midwest, according to government statistics, and President Obama is heading there today through Wednesday.

[…]

When an Iowa-based reporter asked [Agriculture Secretary Tom] Vilsack, the former Democratic governor of Iowa, why Obama didn’t take a bus tour through the South — where rural communities are experiencing unemployment rates higher than the 9.1 percent national average — the secretary said the president’s policies are helping rural areas in the Midwest and the South, and are applicable nationwide.

Maybe so, but it just so happens that the economic statistics are somewhat brighter in two of the three states the president will visit, and his political chances in 2012 appear rosier in Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois than they do in many parts of the South — or even in other Midwestern states he will not see on the bus tour, including Indiana and Ohio.

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MITT ROMNEY attackerade Barack Obama med anledning av rapporterna om att presidentens kampanjstab planerar en smutskastningskampanj mot honom.

Politico skrev om planerna under måndagen. Redan tidigt under onsdagen kom ovanstående videosvar. Uppenbart har Romney en väldrillad kampanjstab som snabbt kan anlägga moteld när så behövs.

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MED HJÄLP AV negativa kampanjmetoder tänker Barack Obama krossa Mitt Romney. Hans karraktär och bakgrund inom näringslivet skall smutskastas.

Romney är idag den republikanska presidentkandidat som ser ut att ha strörst chans gentemot Obama.

Han är den republikan som troligtvis får lättast att locka över independents d.v.s. väljare som inte ser sig som primärt demokrater eller republikaner. Denna väljargrupp kan ofta avgöra ett val i USA.

Enligt Ben Smith och Jonathan Martin på Politico har högsta ledningen inom Obamas kampanjorganisation studerat strategin som president George W. Bush använde sig av 2004. Det året lyckades Bush – trots låga opinionssiffror – besegra John Kerry genom att tidigt definiera honom i negativa termer.

“Unless things change and Obama can run on accomplishments, he will have to kill Romney,” said a prominent Democratic srategist aligned with the White House.

The onslaught would have two aspects. The first is personal: Obama’s reelection campaign will portray the public Romney as inauthentic, unprincipled and, in a word used repeatedly by Obama’s advisers in about a dozen interviews, “weird.”

[…]

The second aspect of the campaign to define Romney is his record as CEO of Bain Capital, a venture capital firm that was responsible for both creating and eliminating jobs. Obama officials intend to frame Romney as the very picture of greed in the great recession — a sort of political Gordon Gekko.

“He was very, very good at making a profit for himself and his partners but not nearly as good [at] saving jobs for communities,” said David Axelrod, the president’s chief strategist.

[….]

“People already knew that he’s a political opportunist of the highest order — changing his positions to suit the day’s polling,” said Bill Burton, Obama’s former White House deputy press secretary who now heads Priorities USA, an independent group expected to lead Democratic attacks on the Republican nominee. “But the last couple weeks, this lack of principles has translated into a total lack of leadership on issues like the debt ceiling.”

Svaret från Mitt Romneys kampanjstab kom snabbt. ABC News rapporterade följande:

 “It is disgraceful that President Obama’s campaign has launched his re-election with the stated goal to ‘kill’ his opponent with an onslaught of negative and personal attacks,” said Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades in a written statement.

“President Obama will say and do desperate things to hold onto power because he knows he has failed. Neither despicable threats, nor
President Obama’s billion dollar negative campaign, will put Americans back to work, save their homes, or restore their hopes. On November 6, 2012, this will change,” Rhoades said.

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