Why HCR Helps Obama Abroad I

More

That was my core thesis in the Sunday Times last Sunday. Gideon Rachman echoes the theme:

Of course, there is no direct connection between the renewal of Mr Obama’s domestic political momentum and his chances of success in foreign policy. But there is an indirect connection. Put crudely, the passage of healthcare reform makes Mr Obama look like a winner rather than a loser. It also shows that he is tenacious and that his stubbornness can pay dividends.

Healthcare looked like a lost battle – but it turned out just to be a long battle.

Foreign leaders who have written off Mr Obama’s chances of succeeding on the big international issues – Afghanistan, the Middle East, climate change, Iran – will now have to consider the possibility that the president’s persistence might ultimately deliver success. That increases the likelihood that leaders who are wavering will listen and try to work with him.

It may also make foreign leaders who are inclined to thumb their nose at the president think twice. This is not a great week for Mr Netanyahu to arrive in Washington – where he is scheduled to speak to the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac). If healthcare reform had collapsed in Congress, the Israeli prime minister might have been emboldened to try to rally US opposition to the Obama administration’s Middle East policies. But now that the president has a following wind, confronting him looks riskier.

Success over healthcare may also encourage fickle pundits (I include myself among them) to take a more balanced view of Mr Obama’s first year in office. The administration did, after all, avert the threat of a complete meltdown of the banking industry. The US economy is now growing at an annualised rate of almost 6 per cent a year – much faster than any comparable western economy.

Jump to comments

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

The Remote Warehouse Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where the Wild Things Go

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Adults Need Playtime Too

When was the last time you played your favorite childhood game?

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down