Archive for the ‘expectations’ Category

As Challenges Mount, Obama’s Global Luster Tarnishing … Already

January 18, 2009

“Maybe someone will ask for his impeachment by the end of next week.”

It is the fickle nature of being a superstar, rock star or politician I guess….

Caution To New American Government: Polls Can Plummet in a Heartbeat

In The U.S., Obama’s Populatity Grows as Inauguration Nears

Obama Reelection Effort Begins


By WILLIAM J. KOLE, Associated Press Writer

Barack Obama got a global standing ovation long before he was elected president. But in a fickle and fast-moving world, the overseas reviews are already turning mixed.

In this July 24, 2008 file photo, President-elect Barack Obama ... 
In this July 24, 2008 file photo, President-elect Barack Obama waves as he arrives at the Victory Column in Berlin. Though much of the world will party through the night Tuesday after Obama is sworn in as America’s 44th president, just as it did when he was elected, there are signs the ardor is cooling as the sheer weight of his challenges sinks in. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Though much of the world will party through the night Tuesday after Obama is sworn in as America’s 44th president — just as it did when he was elected — there are signs the ardor is cooling as the sheer weight of his challenges sinks in.

A deepening global recession, new hostilities in the Middle East, complications in closing the Guantanamo Bay prison, Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan — an impatient world has a stake in all of them and is asking how much change Obama can deliver.

“Just two months ago, the future president seemed a cross between Superman and Merlin the magician,” Massimo Gramellini wrote in a commentary for Italy’s La Stampa newspaper. “Now he himself admits he won’t be able to keep all his promises, and who knows? Maybe someone will ask for his impeachment by the end of next week.”

“The idealism has diminished,” said Samuel Solvit, who heads an Obama support network in France. “Everyone was dreaming a little. Now people are more realistic.”

Muslims want to know why Obama hasn’t joined the chorus of international criticism of Israel’s Gaza offensive. Last week posters of him were set on fire in Tehran to shouts of “Death to Obama!”

“By the time Obama takes office, hundreds or thousands more will be killed in Gaza and it will be too late for him to act,” said Adel Fawzi, an Egyptian government clerk in Cairo.

Hardline demonstrators burn posters of U.S. President-elect ... 
Hardline demonstrators burn posters of U.S. President-elect Barack Obama, during a demonstration in support of the people of Gaza, in front of the Swiss Embassy in Tehran January 13, 2009.REUTERS/Stringer (IRAN)

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‘Overwhelming’ expectations worry Biden

December 23, 2008

Vice President-elect Joe Biden is worried about the “exceedingly high expectations” the world community has for Barack Obama’s presidency.

He believes he and Obama must follow through with action to show how they’re different than George W. Bush, Biden told CNN’s Larry King Monday.

“I have been contacted by so many world leaders. Their expectation for Barack’s presidency is overwhelming,” Biden said. “They are so hungry to have an American leader who they think has a policy that reflects our stated values as well as one they can talk to.”

Vice president-elect Joseph Biden, seen here in October 2008, ... 
Vice president-elect Joseph Biden, seen here in October 2008, said in an interview airing Monday he was worried about soaring international expectations for Barack Obama’s presidency.(AFP/File/Robyn Beck)

At the same time, Biden expressed sympathy for Bush over the Baghdad shoe-throwing incident – a day after Biden and Vice President Dick Cheney traded shots on the Sunday shows. “I feel somewhat badly for him,” Biden said. “I think the incident in Iraq was – was unfortunate, that guy throwing the shoes. It was just uncalled for . . .and I think that President Bush and, unlike Vice President Cheney, is, upon reflection beginning to acknowledge some of the serious, if not mistakes, misjudgments that he made.”

Still, Biden made clear Obama must make a clean break with Bush polices past, starting with shutting down the U.S. terror prison at Guantanamo Bay, Biden said. He said Greg Craig, Obama’s incoming White House counsel, and other members of Obama’s team are working on a strategy for closing Gitmo.

By Carol E. Lee

“We’re in the process of drawing up plans right now,” Biden said. “It’s going to be complicated to do it. It’s going to take more than a few months. But close it we must.”
But Biden also signaled that there might be some flexibility in another key Obama campaign promise that world leaders are watching closely, bringing home troops from Iraq. Biden said troops would be out “within the next two years” — longer than President-elect Barack Obama’s campaign promise of within 16 months but “in the same ballpark,” Biden said.

He said Obama would have troops out more quickly than the Bush administration’s agreement with the Iraqi government, which calls for troop withdrawal by 2011.

One of the reasons for troop withdrawal in Iraq is because more combat forces are needed in Afghanistan, Biden said.

In the Middle East, Biden said an Obama administration is “going to invest every bit of capital we have in trying to bring about peace.”

Biden also discussed a range of topics:

• He said Illinois Gov. Rod Blagoyevich seems pretty guilty and should go. “I know in our system you are innocent until proven guilty, but those tapes that were released by the special prosecutor, excuse me, by the U.S. attorney seem incredibly, incredibly incriminating,” Biden said. “It’s a decision for the people of Illinois to make the legislature of Illinois to make, but from where I sit he looks like a guy who is not capable of governing.”

• Biden said he and Sen. John McCain are “still close.” “John has been incredibly graceful,” Biden said. “He is my friend.”

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Biden Worried About Foreign Hopes, Expectations


Vice president-elect Joseph Biden said in an interview airing Monday he was worried about soaring international expectations for Barack Obama‘s presidency.

Biden, who will be sworn in with Obama on January 20, also said he felt President George W. Bush was beginning to admit “serious” misjudgments and took another swipe in a simmering spat with Vice President Dick Cheney.

“You asked me earlier if I am worried about the exceedingly high expectations that people have for President Barack Obama,” Biden told CNN’s Larry King in advance excerpts of his interview with the talk-show host.

“I said domestically I wasn’t so worried about that but internationally I am,” Biden said, adding that foreign hopes….

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Democrats Try to Lower Expectations

December 22, 2008

Even as they depict a massive stimulus package as indispensable to turning the economy around, U.S. Democratic leaders are aggressively lowering expectations that the package will yield dramatic accomplishments quickly.

Rep. David Obey, who is playing a key role in assembling the stimulus plan, which is expected to approach $800 billion, said recently that an infusion of federal spending is “the only game in town.” But the Wisconsin Democrat, who is chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, was careful to add: “The downward momentum appears too strong to end the recession anytime soon.”

By Naftali Bendavid
The Wall Street Journal
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s office said recently that “Congress needs to pass an economic recovery package to prevent any further decline in the economy” — but cautioned, “recovery will not be immediate.”

The expectations game is always tricky in politics. To win power, candidates promise to enact sweeping change. But once victory is in hand, they often scramble to lower those expectations so they won’t be perceived as falling short.

Democrats are facing an especially precarious version of that dilemma. In crafting a package that will sink hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars into the economy, they are apprehensive about the fallout if the economy merely continues sputtering along for several years.

And lawmakers are already mindful of how they will face voters less than two years from now. The ruling party almost always loses seats in midterm elections, and that trend could be exacerbated for the Democrats if voters think they threw billions of dollars at the economy with little to show for it.

“Elections are run in two-year cycles, and we’re in an economic cycle that we can’t turn around in two years,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D., N.Y.). “It’s a political problem. But I don’t know that there is a way out of it.”

President-elect Barack Obama, asked how voters will be able to judge whether his economic package is helping, said it would create at least some jobs immediately by funding “shovel ready” construction projects. The Democrats could also get credit if they produce concrete results in areas such as providing mortgage relief or extending unemployment benefits.

Still, the political challenge is daunting, given that economists expect this recession to last for years. “The stimulus package will keep it from getting as bad as it would otherwise be, but that is very hard to measure,” said Alice Rivlin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office, who addressed House Democrats recently. “All you can say is, ‘It’s probably not as bad as it would have been.’ But that is very hard to prove.”

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