Friday, 9 November 2012

Yes he can move America forward

The re-election of President Obama for another four year term in the White House establishes some very fine points in the art of doing politics and getting elected.

President Clinton had invented the term 'it's the economy stupid' meaning that a strong economy is the best credentials for re-election whereas a bad economy is practically an assurance of failure.  

Approaching a re-election bid with unemployment as high as 7.9% and wages stagnant or falling,  would normally be a bad hand offering competitors forceful mileage to hit Obama with.   It was further compounded by the fact that Obama had promised to half the deficit during his first term but instead he practically doubled it.

Furthermore if the Jewish lobby and Wall Street position themselves robustly against Obama and pour endless funds for the challenger's election campaign, then it is fair to assume that this set of circumstances would have check-mated any incumbent President.  

But not Obama.   Obama is not any president.

Obama has refined the Clinton dictum. It is not so much where the economy stands, but more where it is going.    Inheriting an economy that was shedding net employment at the rate of 700,000 per month in the first quarter of 2009 and returning an economy that is consistently adding employment at an average rate of 150,000 per month and evidently accelerating, is no mean achievement.

Regarding the deficit Obama could explain that if he had kept the promise of halving the deficit the US economy would have been thrown into a depression which makes the debt burden even heavier ( ask the European countries in austerity crisis).   If anything Obama has been fairly criticised by liberal economists like Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz that with interest rates at near zero level and the US Treasury able to borrow 10 year money at below 2%,  it is almost stupid not to borrow more to update the ageing infrastructural backbone of America.   American bridges, airports and rail network are third world rate compared to those in China, Singapore and many emerging countries.

Obama has been re-elected even though he failed to deliver on the Yes we can battle cry of his first election.   The electorate in its majority appreciated that Obama spent the first half of his first term trying to stabilise the economy and pass his signature health care legislation, which brings America close to the civilised world, socially speaking.  Then in the second half of his term he could not deliver when Congress was determined not to compromise with Obama and dominated as it became by the Tea Party ultras following the elections of 2010,  stanced itself obstinately as our way or the highway!

Now that he has been re-elected for his last term ( US Presidents can only serve two terms) Congress will have to change their intrasingent attitude firstly because it is Congress that will face election again in 2014 and also because the Republicans, Tea Party and all, can now do nothing to remove Obama from the White House.   On the other hand Obama, freed from pressures of re-election, does not need tojustify to the extreme left of his party base  his making necessary concessions,  and can therefore reach out more effectively across the aisle to secure a long term plan for the sustainability of the US government's fiscal position.

On the foreign affairs front, the Israeli government, which itself is due for re-election very soon, has to accept that they have to work with President Obama for four more years and respect his style of avoiding unnecessary threats and sabre rattling.   In the end patience and economic sanctions may well force Iran to get serious about its nuclear plans and start respecting international accords against proliferation of nuclear capabilities.

Obama has a great opportunity to deliver well in his econd term better than any Presdient in recent history.

Kennedy and Johnson had no second term.   Nixon had Watergate in the second term and was impeached. Ford had no second term.   Carter had no second term. Reagan's second term was dominated by the Iran Contra affair. Bush senior had no second term.  Clinton's second term became a Lewinsky affair. Bush's Jr. second term was strerile locked in an unwinnable war that should never have been strated.

Obama by contrast has a straight run.  An improving economy and vast opportunites for domestic energy development to reduce strategic reliance on foreign oil and lower its price.

Yes,  Obama this time has all the cards in place to prove that he can move America forward.

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