Donnerstag, 1. Oktober 2009

A Bridge too far--Obama in Denmark

Honestly, I like Obama. When he came into office, he had an impressive way of multitasking: not only was he able to take on different issues at the same time, he also seemed to establish leadership on all of these issues. That was a good start and underscored all the abilities he was praised for in the first place. In recent weeks, however, I began to be a bit disappointed. Not only did he allow the healthcare-debate to drag on without a clear focus, he also avoids a clear decision on the future of the mission in Afghanistan. In the latter case, he wants to be sure that the U.S. is having the right approach and strategy before deciding whether or not to put more troops into the field. All this might be a lack of clear focus but in an enviroment like this, it amounts to a stunning lack of leadership. His seemingly endless efforts to sketch out the middleground on all issues might be worthwhile when you run for city mayor, but in a president its a no-go. Decisions very simply need to be taken, even when it may not be totally clear from the outset, where the majority of the people will eventually wind up. Why is that? Because for a middleground to exist in politics, positions will have to be taken beforehand on both sides of the political spectrum. But getting in on a bar fight and declare your intention no to act is the exact opposite of leadership: flying to Denmark in the middle of two pressing debates to stump for the Olympics in Chicago sends the wrong signal and is very simply an issue too much, a bridge too far.