Obama blew it in 2009

I don't often post on things that are not Mideast-related, but this article by John Judis really captures Obama's missed opportunity for radical policies:

To succeed requires some knowledge of the task at hand, which Hoover did not have; it also requires a vulnerable opposition, which Franklin Roosevelt had, and which Obama certainly had in the first months of his presidency, when Republicans were in disarray and Wall Street was disgraced. Two things are then required of a president: bold and unprecedented initiatives that address the underlying economic problems, and a populist—and sometimes polarizing—politics that marshals support for these initiatives and disarms the opposition. Obama failed on both counts: His economic program—no matter how large in comparison to past efforts—was too timid, as many liberal economists recognized; and Obama proved surprisingly inept at convincing the public that even these efforts were necessary.

Update: To be fair I think the following commentary should also be mentioned.

I also think the guy who put up this site has good points: whatthefuckhasobamadonesofar.com

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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.