There are more and more comparisons made at the moment between Obama and a former Democratic president whose presidency was quite a failure : this former president is Mister Jimmy Carter (1976-1980).
And I think this comparison is particularly relevant, even more than the one made with Lyndon Johnson, because of Afghanistan, which is said Obama’s Vietnam.
As the New York Daily News puts it today in a very interesting article :
the better analogy is to Jimmy Carter, particularly the President analyzed by James Fallows in a 1979 Atlantic magazine article, "The Passionless Presidency." "The central idea of the Carter administration is Jimmy Carter himself," Fallows wrote. And what is the central idea of the Obama presidency? It is change. And what is that? It is Obama himself.
You may also read this other article :
Interesting, isn’t it ?
Yes, indeed, the new president might become the Jimmy Carter of this generation.
His poll numbers have been dropping even faster than Jimmy Carter’s a few months only after his election.
There was a severe economic crisis in the seventies, and Carter continued to spend money : and today, two of Obama’s priorities are proving to be extremely costly : health care reform and the war in Afghanistan.
Obama was elected as an agent of change, like Carter. Carter presented himself as an outsider and against the Washington establishment. But he failed to carry out change, like Obama.
The only difference I see between the two men is quite important, though.
Carter tried to have a modest presidency. He refused the limo on the day of his inauguration, and he adopted quite a austere way of life. He did not travel much , was obliged to wear warm clothes in his office because of the necessity to reduce heating in the White House (that was the time of the energy crisis). So he was himself a victim of the recession.
COntrary to him, for the moment, Obama has shown no willingness to spend less : he continues to travel a lot, and he offers himself extremely expensive vacation….
U.S. President Barack Obama puts his clubs in his bag while golfing at Mink Meadows golf course in Tisbury, Massachusetts on the Island of Martha's Vineyard August 25, 2009.REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES POLITICS SPORT GOLF)
In any case, let’s hope the outcome will be the same in 2012 as in 1980 : Jimmy Carter did not manage to get reelected !