Craig Steiner, u.s.
Common Sense American Conservatism
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Some see political motives in all this foot-dragging. Obama may want to avoid being linked in any way to the policy failures of the Bush era. Harvard economist Ken Rogoff (a sometime adviser to John McCain during the campaign) says that by not "taking ownership" of the problem now, Obama can reappear dramatically as a savior on Jan. 20 like Franklin Roosevelt in 1933, thereby reclaiming the commanding heights of U.S. politics for the Democratic Party. "It's exactly the FDR model. The [market] may sink another 10 percent, but then they can win elections for another 10 years," Rogoff says. "It makes sense politically to hang Bush out to dry, but Obama has to hang the economy out to dry at the same time." Obama, in other words, may want to turn crisis into opportunity.
The possibility that Obama actually wants the crisis to get worse before he takes office was reinforced by his Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122721278056345271.html
His plans for an activist government agenda are in many ways being given a boost by this crisis atmosphere and the nearly universal call for the government to do something fast to stimulate the economy.
Comments like these really give significant justification to question whether or not Obama really wants the economy to improve before he takes office. After all, if the crisis is subsiding then it can't be "used" as an opportunity "to do things that you could not do before."
In that context I hate to be cynical but I wonder if Obama's "rolling out" of his economic response on Saturday and then rolling out his economic team today is because the crisis was getting worse and he wants to reassure the market, or rather because he was actually starting to be criticized for his lack of leadership?
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