Monday, 16 March 2009

End of the affair?

David Broder, the legendary Washington Post columnist, has declared that Barack Obama's honeymoon is over. That's it then and probably a good thing too. The scale of the challenges he faces are, well, enormous. Absolutely enormous. Bigger than the biggest enormous thing that you can conceive and then a bit bigger too. And, what's more, he going at it full pelt: financial restructuring, economic recovery, climate change, education, healthcare, Afghanistan, you name it. The honeymoon was never likely to last long.

What is emerging is that this is the most ambitious administration since that of Lyndon Johnson- a presidency that has an enduring impact on modern America in the way that Franklin Roosevelt's has. The risk is that the Obama administration could run out of steam just as the Johnson administration did but that was as much about the Vietnam War as domestic affairs. Having said that, race riots and fiscal expansion also began to take their toll by 1968.

So there is inherent risk in the pathway chosen by President Obama. He could be exhausted within a single term. Or he could go down as a history making president as a result of his achievements in office not just the fact that he secured office in the first place. Worth a try. And may the best of luck and judgement be with him.

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