Thursday, 20 November 2008

Enjoy the optimism, while it lasts

Posted on Bevan Foundation blog on 20th October

There's no doubt that the campaign saw moments of poetry, so now for the prose.

Barack Obama is a clever operator. As this interesting insider account of the campaign illustrates, the President elect seems temperamentally well-suited to the strains of governing.

But as Karl Rove, President Bush's evil genius, points out , the expectations generated in the campaign are going to be very hard to deliver.

The office of the Presidency was designed to disappoint. The Founding Fathers knew what they didn't want from a Chief Executive and they designed a system to keep him in his place. They were clever buggers.

As Simon Schama's excellent recent BBC series illustrated, to understand America's future you need to understand its past. And we're about to see it all again as the limits of the office of the Presidency are laid bare.

Sooner or later he'll disappoint.

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