Looking Ahead from President to Candidate Obama

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

President Barack Obama answers questions during a news conference in the East Room of the White House September 10, 2010 President Barack Obama answers questions during a news conference in the East Room of the White House September 10, 2010 (Getty Images)

How well do we really know our president? All week we’ll be looking at the President Obama that has emerged over the past two years, and what that portends about Barack Obama’s future plans as he seeks re-election in 2012. David Bromowich, Sterling Professor of English at Yale University, says that when the nation elected Barack Obama, they actually got two presidents, not one.  

On the one hand, we have an oratorical master who excels at raising the expectations of a nation desperately in need of hope; on the other, those speeches seem to exist in a vacuum, divorced from the actions or the skillset that executive Obama has to deliver on those promises. But which of those presidents will be on display as the 2012 campaign nears?

 

Guests:

David Bromwich

Comments [2]

Charles

I think I get where Prof. Bromwich is coming from. He is coming from the far left of the Democrat Party; where the main concern seems to have been the reversal of our anti-terror policies, the punishment of Bush and Cheney, and the criminalization of Wall Street.

Prof. Bromwich is not alone, of course. There might be as much as 10% or so of the electorate that agrees with the Salon/Glenn Greenwald/Huffington Post/FireDogLake approach to policy. That cohort would love to see a war crimes trial of Dick Cheney, the immediate closure of Guantanmo Bay, etc.

Problem is, that won't win any elections. It wasn't what won the Presidency for Obama; it didn't help in the last midterm election; and it won't get Obama re-elected.

Naturally, there will be more of the "two Obamas" as 2012 draws nearer. The orator who appeals to the far left as epitomized by Prof. Bromwich, and the pragmatist who actually tries to run the U.S. government and keep the nation safe from further terrorist attacks.

Dec. 29 2010 11:50 AM
Ed from Larchmont

He is the most pro-abortion president we've had, promoting it nationally and internationally. This can't lead to good things.

Dec. 29 2010 09:23 AM

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