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.