Obama and His Administration Reconsidered

By Robbin Laird

In a piece published today by The London Times. Will Lloyd of The New Statesman argued that reassessing Obama and his Administration is long over due.

He concluded his piece as follows: “We are left with one resilient legacy: style. Obama undoubtedly had style, and his has become that of our entire managerial class, whether politicians, bankers or charity bosses. It’s a style that prettifies failure with celebrity. It distracts attention from inequality with empty appeals to minority groups. It muscles out independent thinking with high-minded invocations of diversity. And when, inevitably, the Obama style fails to keep its promises it summons its opposite into being.”

He noted that the “myth of Obama” continues to “hold sway” rather than the reality of his Presidency.

He notes: “It’s embarrassing to ask difficult questions about him, when so many of the people who ask them are conspiracy theorists, crackpots and racists.”

When it comes to Obama’s foreign and security policies, this is what the author said to start his article: “Here are six things Barack Obama said he would do during his presidential terms. Obama promised a prudent end to the Iraq War, victory over the Taliban, a closure of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, better relations between the U.S. and the Islamic world, a “reset” with Vladimir Putin’s Russia, and a “pivot” toward Asia that would make Americans less worried about China’s rise.

“Those are six shots at goal. And six times the ball sailed miserably into the stands. Few things are more revealing than failed promises.”

This Administration obviously has more than historical significance. It directly impacted on the two Administrators which followed, and the key foreign policy challenges have only deepened.

That is why I created a reader of our articles covering the Administration and did so by covering each year of the Administration.

What comes through is the difficulty the Administration had in dealing with the 21st Century Authoritarians and how the world was changing to a world turning against the liberal democracies.

It is not in any way a political book: it is an analytical book that assesses the Administration and the world in change year by year during the Administration.

The world changes not as Washington sees it but based on geopolitical dynamics and historical change which is beyond the kin of Washington politics and our political class.