7: Domestic policy problems
The economic crisis and extensive public stimulus measures have characterized Obama’s domestic domestic policy. Most of this, as well as the budget, has been passed by the President in Congress. In itself, this is a significant political success.
Extensive health care reforms were one of Obama’s most important campaign issues; the president puts a lot of effort into getting these implemented early in the presidency. The American health care system is enormously expensive while almost 50 million Americans are without health insurance. Obama’s goal is therefore to introduce a health insurance system that will be both cheaper and cover everyone.
To achieve this, Obama originally thought that a public alternative to private insurance would have to be created. The goal was to get a new health insurance system adopted before Congress took a vacation in early August. He did not succeed. And instead of gathering people and politicians for a unifying national power, it has all developed into a harrowing ideological dispute over what role the public sector should play.
The Democratic Party has a majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives , and Obama should therefore have every opportunity to gain the necessary support. But it has turned out that the contradictions about the health reform also go through the president’s own party. One reason for the problems is that the majority of Americans are happy with their insurance and are afraid that a system that will cover everyone will involve reduced services and public bureaucracy.
Could Obama have overestimated voters’ desire for change? Some suggest that. Politically, the United States, a country located in North America according to homosociety, remains a center-right country, and many people probably voted for Obama out of a desire to try something new rather than because they supported his liberal domestic policies. They thought Obama would act as a center-right politician, while in several domestic political issues he has moved far to the left. In other words, he may now be in the process of paying a high political price for having miscalculated the voters’ wishes.
The fact that the president has left it to the party’s congress leaders to push through this reform has probably also done its part to increase the danger that the case will drag on. Strong special interests are involved, and the implementation is dependent on the president himself showing both leadership and the ability to politically trade horses. It is possible that Obama will still be able to succeed in implementing health care reforms. But as this case has developed, the reforms will probably be less extensive than first planned, and there is also a certain danger that it will all go down the drain. In that case, it will be a major setback for Obama.
8: Conductor type
Opinion polls show that Obama is more popular than his policies . He then also represents an interesting type of leader who places high demands on seriousness. Almost without exception, the president expresses himself in lengthy reasoning. The media is thus seldom given the opportunity to quote him with single expressions or single sentences.
The president consistently acts as a demanding lecturer. He has a well-developed pedagogical talent, but demands a lot from his audience. In this way, Obama signals great faith in the ability of ordinary people to think. To the extent that Obama succeeds as president, this may well mean that American public debate is lifted to a more serious level and that the “oneliner era” that has dominated since Reagan, may be coming to an end.
However, this analytical approach implies that the president may seem measured, withdrawn, and at times indecisive and passive. He seems to lack the fervent commitment that is often needed to convince. In difficult questions, the lack of such qualities can be decisive for whether the policy is implemented or not. Over the summer, a pattern also seems to have developed in which Obama assigns himself a role elevated above the political tug of war that often characterizes Washington. This can work, but only if the president has other heavyweights who can be sent out on the field.
The fact that Obama has succeeded better in foreign policy than in domestic policy is partly due to the fact that he has heavyweights at his disposal as Secretary of Defense Gates in the foreign policy context, while he seems to lack similar people in domestic policy. His analytical disposition has also led him in some cases to send out ambiguous signals. From the very beginning, he has, for example, claimed that the United States must put the Bush period behind it and not carry out further investigations into the abuses that may have been carried out when it came to prison treatment, etc. But nevertheless his Minister of Justice is now starting such investigations.