Well, I voted for John McCain but I today think that this was a mistake. Obama was the better candidate for the times. In other words I know more about Obama and I know more about the times today.
Things have changed. The row over Obama's peace prize witness about the difference in the hope of the American people but also abroad. A recent poll in USA Today put numbers on this. However, not having had such an inflated opinion about Obama a year ago I think he is steadily improving his performance now.
I liked his cool on the Iran debacle and I also appreciate his thoughtfulness on the continuation on the AfPak issue. There are some advancement on the relation with Myanmar as well recently according to the BBC. The engagement tactics has not unstuck the world scene but there is a more pleasant tone which I'm sure improves world wide trade and encounters. Michael Oren, the Israel Ambassador to the US, said today that business is back as usual between the US and Israel according to The Jerusalem Post. Realism on the time frame needed for peace in these quarters reigns.
Obama also recently got some positive numbers on the economy when the US formally exited the recession. The high unemployment however continues to bother the Americans, as well as the Europeans. They claim the stimulus package have finally begun to work. Hopefully he will get his health care bill past in order to get his house in order for the foreign policy adventures. Will he spend most of the rest of the year on the Copenhagen climate conference or on the health care bill?
Despite all this, 56% of Americans think the country is on the wrong track, 39% think it is on the right track according to Real Clear Politics. In Sweden I would guess that a majority think the country is on the right track. Why a difference? In Europe it is about 35%/35% according to the Eurobarometer. What ails the Americans? It is probably the wars. Being responsible for the wars. My feeling is that if Obama want to be a great president he has to luxate himself from these two problems. They don't seem winnable, whatever that would mean.
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