Buying Low…

Robert D. Kaplan argues that the only direction from here for Obama and company is UP:

“But the real reason that Obama and Clinton might enjoy success is something that goes barely mentioned in the media. Obama and Clinton are buying into a bottomed-out market vis-à-vis America’s position in the world. It is as if they will be buying stock after the market has crashed, and just at the point when a number of factors are already set in motion for a recovery.”

He’s got a great point. But while Kaplan spells out all the issues in the global spectrum that Obama will have to face, it takes him several paragraphs to describe them. What does that mean? It means that while Obama may be “buying low”, he may be hard pressed to really accomplish all, or even most, of these goals. Do I expect him to?, NO, but I think the world does. All you read these days is how Obama has to concentrate on Israel-Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Colombian trade, Venezuela, China’s rise, Darfur’s genocide, Zimbabwe’s meltdown, etc., etc. Things are so bad in the world politically for the United States thanks to several factors, including a failed foreign policy over the last eight years every concerned American and international citizen has a lot of expectation. Where to start, and how to really distribute Obama’s incoming political capital is the question to tack on to Kaplan’s essay. What’s the most important, and what will he not accomplish?


~ by The Common Man on December 2, 2008.

One Response to “Buying Low…”

  1. I dislike Kaplan’s assertion that America is a stock and that Obama is buying low. Instead, I like the better analogy of America as a corporate brand, and we’ve brought in a new CEO to instill faith in the brand and consequently increase our stock’s value. There are many who use the ‘branding’ idea for marketing a country to tourists, but I think it works for foreign policy just as well.

    Obama and team will have early success because they will be trusted by key players around the globe, and they bring in a new system that will rely on cooperation rather than the ‘my way or the highway’ approach of the last few years.

    To go to your point, I think the new team will bring others to apply pressure on certain pain points, like Darfur. It’ll still be on our shoulders to lead the charge, but it’ll be a much easier bandwagon to fill than say, building a coalition for invading Iraq. Yes, they’ll be hard pressed to address all of those issues, but it won’t only be on us. It’d be nice to us apply broad based pressure diplomatically or economically to address an issue, a novel concept after the last 8 years.

    One big sticking point for me: Kaplan asserting that Bush has set up the next administration for success. This seems like a play at establishing a legacy for Dubya, something that more and more conservative commentators are inserting into their messaging. I truly wonder how much money they’ll spend over the next 25 years pushing this sort of view. “The Dubya legacy, brought to you by Halliburton.”

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