Hail to the Chief

I wish President Obama well. His journey from Chicago to Washington is a great acheivement which has generated him huge good will.

I remember when I first praised his ability to shape a new language and style of politics and to build a coalition of support eyebrows were raised by Conservatives. This was long before he became the front runner for the democratic nomination.

His train journey in the wheel marks of Lincoln show he and his team have a great sense of theatre and history. he klnows a good picture and a good story when he sees one.

I went on then to say the interesting question was whether he could show great skill at more than spinning a vision and crafting words and pictures for the media. He inherits a mess. We need him to change things for the better. What he does will now be more important than what he says.

Today I am sure he will give a fine speech, articulating a vision many can buy into. Tomorrow we need actions – actions on Iraq, on Afghanistan, on the banking crisis, on the conduct of economic policy.

The change I would like includes a decision not to continue with Bush’s approach to both Iraq and Afghanistan in the way I fear he will. I also want him to change the nature of government intervention with the banks and the economy to give us more chance of pulling out of recession without overweighting the state with debt.

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6 Comments

  1. Obnoxio The Clown
    Posted January 20, 2009 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    When I see all this hullabaloo, I remember 1997 and T Blair, Esq. That turned out well for us, didn’t it? Still, at least the yanks can only have him for 8 years, so there will be two fewer years of mismanagement to undo for them.

    God help us all.

  2. Tony Makara
    Posted January 20, 2009 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    A major priority for the new president must be to continue to rein in America’s staggering trade deficit. To do this will require a much weaker Dollar over a long period of time. The president however will be under pressure from oil producers and the calls for oil to be priced in Euros may again surface if the Euro hardens, and with Trichet at the helm that is always a possibility.

    America cannot continue to hemorrhage jobs and see its domestic market overrun by the sweatshop economies of the East. A Democratic administration will be less anchored to the ideology of free-trade, and therein lies the hope, that America can lead the way in showing the Western world how to build viable internal markets, and by so doing, end the dangerous dependency on imports from the East.

  3. Adam Collyer
    Posted January 20, 2009 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    I’m sure that in the long run, George Bush’s legacy of government debt and deficit will be regarded as much more important than the intervention in Iraq.

  4. Cliff.
    Posted January 20, 2009 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    It is strange how a PC media can drum up such support for someone with no experience, who is untried and tested and yet, still hail him as the new messiah. The BBC and Sky were both very enthusiastic with their support for him during his campaign; anyone would have thought the people of the UK had a vote in the American election too.

    The media are reporting all utterings of Mr Obama as if it is gospel. He has no track record.
    He may well turn out to be a great president, but we won’t know for a while yet. I hope he does turn out to be a great leader as God knows, we need one.

    I fear that many of the black Americans that have supported him may find that he will not be able to give them all the things and advantages that many of them hope he will.

    When I watch and hear him speak, he reminds me very much of one Tony Blair….He is very photogenic, he spins a good yarn and is a good communicator….Let’s hope that is all he has in common with Mr Blair and that he does not ruin America as Mr Blair did this country.

    It has been mooted on various news channels, on both sides of the Atlantic, that Mr Obama may distance himself somewhat from the UK, as we were too close during Mr Bush’s time in office and this will enable him to further distance himself from the policies of Mr Bush. It is suggested that he will lean towards the EUSSR and France and Germany in particular. This could leave us somewhat isolated as we were very much a small player enjoying the protection of our big strong cousin.

    I doubt though that this would stop Mr Brown from going around the world throwing our money at every country as if it was confetti. I wonder what the bank manager would say if I was in debt and went to see him about increasing my borrowings beyond what I could afford, to enable me to give these extra borrowings to charity….I suspect he would try to have me sectioned, and rightly so!!

    Good Luck Mr Obama….You’ll need it!!

  5. THE ESSEX BOYS
    Posted January 20, 2009 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    One of us – this writer – beat even you to the punch John! I had £100 on BARACK OBAMA becoming President by 2016 after hearing his keynote speech to the Democratic Convention in 2004.
    When he nominated for ’08 I had another £100 that he’d get the nominaion and a further £100 on him becoming President.
    My total winnings are well into 5 figures so it’s indeed a day of celebration!

    I contributed online – not straightrorward if you don’t live in the US – and received the benefit of regular emails from his well-oiled machine. The file is on offer to all Conservatives.

    “USA…BACK BARACK TO GET BACK ON TRACK!”
    became my mantra to all my American pals and his organisational skills have impressed my colleagues and me as much as his persona and they will stand us all in good stead given the present plight. However an American President who doesn’t automatically call the shots on legislation must have the charisma as a key part of his armoury and today’s excitement across the world confirms just that!

    POWER TO YOUR ELBOW SIR!

  6. Rose
    Posted January 20, 2009 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    What if they find out he is a closet reactionary?

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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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