The View From His Recession


Leonhardt scores an interview with the President. It's interesting throughout. A snippet:

I knew even before the election that this was going to be a very difficult journey and that the economy had gone through a sufficient shock and that it wasn’t going to recover right away.

In some ways it’s liberating, though, in the sense that whether I’m a one-termer or a two-termer, the problems are big enough and fundamental enough that I can’t sort of game it out. It’s not one of these things where I can say, Oh, you know what, if I time it just right, then the market is going to be going up and unemployment will be going down right before re-election. These are much bigger, much more systemic problems. And so in some ways you just kind of set aside the politics.

The article is already bouncing around the internets. Matthew Continetti thinks Obama is setting the stage for healthcare rationing; Jonathan Cohn also focuses on the healthcare angle; Tim Fernholz wants Obama to make a better case against bank nationalization; And Reihan calls the interview "really remarkable." Reihan:

At the very least, the Leonhardt interview suggests that Obama understands the thorny landscape, and that’s saying a lot. My basic fear remains the same: I think we expect too much from government in general and from the president in particular. Still, it’s hard to argue that Obama doesn’t wear the mantle of “bearer of responsibility” fairly well.

(Photo: US President Barack Obama speaks during a town hall meeting at Fox Senior High School in Arnold, Missouri, April 29, 2009. Obama marked his 100th day in office Wednesday with a trip to the US heartland ahead of a prime-time press conference to reflect on the turbulent start of a presidency most Americans see as a success. By Saul Loeb/Getty.)