Mr Bush and Mr Obama get on well – that should be no surprise

In the heat of the Presidential battle people concentrate on the differences. What struck me about the US Presidential race was how similar the main participants were on the big issues.

Mr Bush and Mr Obama both believe in spending and borrowing too much in the public sector.

They both believe in nationalising the main mortgage companies, and part nationalising the main banks.

They both believe in intensifying the war in Afghanistan as part of their wider war against terror.

They both probably will agree to find a way of offering subsidy or more capital to the US auto industry.

Both are currently happy – Mr Bush because he is about to lose the burdens of office that have come to haunt him, and Mr Obama because he has just won but does not yet feel the full burdens on his shoulders.

Mr Obama will feel rightly proud and excited by the thought of living in the White House. Mr Bush may now be looking forward to living in a home of his own without the constant comings and goings of staffers making demands upon his every waking minute.

I would expect them to get on well. It will be different when Mr Obama’s team starts brieifng against the former President, when they are seeking someone to blame for problems they encoutner.

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3 Comments

  1. Stuart Fairney
    Posted November 11, 2008 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    This was the sad choice faced by US voters, very big government conservatives or even bigger government liberals with slick, empty presentation skills.

    Judging by Mr Cameron's announcement this morning, our menu maybe equally restricted in 2010

  2. not an economist
    Posted November 11, 2008 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Personally, I think we are about to endure 4 very long years of extensive intervention in the market place. The aim will be to hasten growth. The result will be an extended recession that may very well turn into a depression, as happned in the 1930's as a result of the interventionist policies of first Hoover and then Roosevelt. And yet the blame for this worsening of the American economy will not be placed on Obama's shoulders but those of the Republicans.

    I don't doubt Bush's culpability for what has happened to date. But its criminal to ignore the role of the Democrats over the last 10 years (esp. in the area of housing), the behaviour of first Greenspan's and then Bernanke's Federal Reserve and the harmful impact of the interventionist policies Obama is destined to pursue.

  3. mikestallard
    Posted November 11, 2008 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Mr Bush is such a Texan! You cannot help but admit that he is telegenic to excess. He is also, for an extremely intelligent man, brilliant as coming down to our level (cp Mr Blair who was also brillian' a' this. Yer know.)
    But, looking back, he didn't exploit 9/11 to the full. It really wasn't Pearl Harbor. By getting bogged down in the Middle East, he went a long way to destroy America. He should have done, looking back, what his father did – knit together a huge anti Bin Laden alliance including the Muslims.
    By going along with President Clinton's sub Prime Mortgage mistake, he has wrecked – for how long? – the world's economy.
    A reporter today said that he had met Bin Laden (before 9/11) who prayed that God might do to America what He had already done to Russia. Well, I am not sure that prayer has not been answered.

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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