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The Obama Presidency After One Year

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Joyce Appleby outlines the first year of Barack Obama’s presidency noting a number of his successes on the domestic front as well as some notably failures and reverses of course. She focuses on some of the future struggles that his administration faces from the electorates’ “buyer’s remorse”, to passing health care and regulatory reform, to various international problems. Unfortunately for President Obama, he must navigate these shoals within the context of economic crisis, partisan rancor, and high public discontent with government. Professor Appleby concludes by noting that it is important that a larger Democratic majority in both houses of Congress and how the president might achieve those ends.

Michael Lind places Barack Obama in the camp of New Democrats whose political platform is akin to Rockefeller Republicans and supported by the media and the finance sectors. New Democrats differ from Roosevelt Democrats in their opposition to most forms of direct government action, rather they favor private and corporate initiatives. However, Lind believes that Obama may well alter his positions and that of his party’s as his administration unfolds by suggesting that Roosevelt’s policies also changed over time.

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Joyce Appleby lecture


Michael Lind lecture