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Diário de Notícias, Portugal

From Excitement to Relief



By Viriato Soromenho-Marques

In 2008, Barack Obama was the candidate of excitement and hope. In 2012, his victory was greeted with a huge sigh of relief.

Translated By Nuno Rosalino

8 November 2012

Edited by Lau­rence Bouvard


Portugal - Diário de Notícias - Original Article (Portuguese)

In 2008, Barack Obama was the candidate of excitement and hope. In 2012, his victory was greeted with a huge sigh of relief. In these past four years, the promises Obama made through his rhetoric have measured up against the inertia of reality, and they haven’t always come out on top.

Those who expected to see the U.S. spearhead a technology and energy revolution against climate change were disappointed. America is ever more dependent on fossil fuels. Guantanamo’s doors remain open. The healthcare program (“Obamacare”) is a shadow of what had been designed, and it doesn’t seem to please the majority of citizens. International regulation of the financial sector, whose excesses have led to the global crisis we find ourselves in, is still in the drawing stages. …

However, Obama wasn’t mistaken about how to fight the crisis. Unlike the ideological austerity fever that ails Europe, he knows that the government should promote anti-cyclical policies, counteracting the private sector’s incapability to invest and the risk of tearing the economic fabric. He also knows that the U.S. will be all the stronger for understanding its own limits and using diplomacy wisely to achieve common goals, consolidate alliances and turn enemies into cooperative adversaries. With the Obama of 2012, there won’t be the political redemption that some had hoped for in 2008.

But with Obama, the world will be better shielded against the risk of a swift economic meltdown and further from a new bellicose adventure with unforeseen consequences.



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