I have been criticised by some of you for daring to mention Mr Obama’s silence on the Midddle East. Let me hasten to remind you that this site was one of the first to identify Mr Obama as a very talented politician who was going places in the race for the White House. I admire his way with words, respect his intelligence and academic ability, and think he is a consumate spin politician. The point I am making is that if someone stands on a ticket for change he needs to be sure he can make changes when he gets into power. I would like him to prove that he not only talk the talk but he can walk the walk. That is what the next few months will reveal.
In the UK today David Cameron is offering real change – change from spending and borrowing too much to spending more wisely and borrowing less, change to lower taxes on earning and saving, change in the way we tackle our broken society, change to the way we try to mend the banks, change in the way we approach the EU.
I am still at a loss to know what changes to expect from Mr Obama. He looks very like Mr Bush with better spin. He said enough yesterday to let us infer he supports Mr Bush’s approach to the crisis in Gaza. We know he wishes to prosecute Bush’s war in Afghanistan more intensively, and will remove troops from Iraq much as Mr Bush is doing. We know he wants to spend and borrow more, as if Mr Bush was not already spending and borrowing collosal sums, and we know he supports Mr Bush’s approach to mending the banks. The two men do not disagree fundamentally about their response to the economic crisis.
Maybe the only difference is going to be that Mr Obama wants more taxes on energy use to be greener. I just wonder how far he will in practise go when the polls tell him just how unpopular such taxes are likely to prove. He may discover that Mr Bush’s idea of increasing rewards to finding and exploiting energy at home had its point after all.