The Obama era

El periodista Jonathan Chait reconstruye en uno de los capítulos de Audacity, libro que analiza la presidencia de Obama, la decepción sufrida por una parte de sus votantes y seguidores. Los decepcionados alegan que Obama cayó en las prácticas que han circundado Washington por décadas y que algunos calificarían como prácticas propias de una casta privilegiada. Y es que el Obama candidato parecía fundar dos expectativas: su administración iba a adoptar medidas realmente emancipadoras y además iba a transformar el dominio de la política en algo ejemplar. Obama no sólo iba a conseguir los fines políticos prometidos y largamente olvidados, sino que además lo iba a hacer usando exclusivamente medios intachables, es decir, sin dejarse arrastrar por la tradicional cadena de favores, negociaciones, intercambios y transacciones con el adversario político u otros miembros de la casta.…  Seguir leyendo »

How the Presidency Changed Obama

In the beginning, there was hope. A racial barrier shattered. An anxious nation eager to turn the page on foreign war and economic hardship. And the audacious plans of a new president.

President Obama stood on the West Front of the Capitol on Jan. 20, 2009, and dismissed as small-minded those who would question his grand ambitions.

“They have forgotten what this country has already done,” Mr. Obama said, “what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.”

Days before, Mr. Obama — the African-American son of a Kenya-born father and a Kansas-born mother — had stood in the Oval Office, in a White House built in part by slaves, flanked by four white men who were the only others on the planet who understood the burden of the job he was about to take on.…  Seguir leyendo »

Tema

¿Cuáles han sido las últimas medidas adoptadas por Barack Obama antes de abandonar la Casa Blanca?

Resumen

Medioambiente, Consejo de Seguridad, Guantánamo y ciberespacio son algunos de los ámbitos en los que Barack Obama ha querido tomar sus últimas decisiones en las que ha buscado dar un último impulso a un legado que no supo forjar. Algunas han sido simbólicas, otras tendrán un carácter más permanente y en la mayoría de las ocasiones han sido un mensaje directo a su sucesor, Donald Trump.

Análisis

La expresión “pato cojo” (lame duck) se utiliza en EEUU para apuntar al menor poder e influencia del presidente del país en los últimos meses de su mandato.…  Seguir leyendo »

Jolted by Deaths, Obama Found His Voice on Race

Only weeks after 70 million Americans chose a black man for president, shattering a racial barrier that had stood for the entirety of the nation’s 232-year history, no one in the White House, especially the man in the Oval Office, wanted to talk about race.

President Obama had made a pragmatic calculation in January 2009, as the financial crisis drove communities across the United States toward economic collapse. Whatever he did for African-Americans, whose neighborhoods were suffering more than others, he would not describe as efforts to specifically help Black America.

Mr.…  Seguir leyendo »

Un gran Jefe de Estado marca una época y determina los acontecimientos, o al menos esa es la definición habitual. Napoleón, admirado por los franceses (nos preguntamos por qué, ya que mató a muchos de ellos) y vilipendiado en el resto de Europa, fue «grande». Mientras que al rey Luis Felipe, que hizo que reinara la paz y una cierta prosperidad, se le recuerda por un estilo de muebles. La posteridad es una justicia cruel. En lo que se refiere a Obama, en EE.UU. predominan las opiniones partidistas, porque es grande para los demócratas y mediocre para los republicanos.

¿Pero no está la pregunta mal planteada porque se basa en un error en la valoración de los poderes reales del presidente?…  Seguir leyendo »

Barack Obama campaigned for the U.S. presidency on a platform of change. As he prepares to leave office, the country he led for eight years is undeniably different. Profound social, demographic and technological changes have swept across the United States during Obama’s tenure, as have important shifts in government policy and public opinion.

Apple released its first iPhone during Obama’s 2007 campaign, and he announced his vice presidential pick – Joe Biden – on a two-year-old platform called Twitter. Today, use of smartphones and social media has become the norm in U.S. society, not the exception.

The election of the nation’s first black president raised hopes that race relations in the U.S.…  Seguir leyendo »

Obama se ha convertido en sus últimas semanas en la Casa Blanca en el ariete anti-Trump. En el último dique de contención. Protege a la desesperada el Despacho Oval del intruso dispuesto a pervertir la esencia de lo que representa la Presidencia de Estados Unidos. Obama ha asumido un improvisado rol: delimitar la línea de defensa, definir la estrategia y fijar el tono frente a Trump. Lo hace al tiempo que defiende con uñas y dientes su legado. O precisamente por eso, para preservar sus ocho años de mandato.

Hay otra interpretación -inconsciente, psicoanalítica y complementaria- para entender la airada actitud del presidente en funciones, más allá del escozor que le provoquen las trampas de Trump, sus excesos verbales y devaneos con Putin.…  Seguir leyendo »

After Obama, Some Health Reforms May Prove Lasting

(A transformation of the delivery of health care may be an enduring legacy for the president, even as Republicans plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act).

Fragments of bone and cartilage arced across the operating room as Dr. R. Michael Meneghini drilled into the knee of his first patient at a hospital here at dawn. Within an hour, the 66-year-old woman had a replacement joint made of titanium and cobalt chrome, and she was sent home the next day.

But the Obama administration was watching over her caregivers’ shoulders. If, over three months, her medical costs exceeded a target amount set by President Obama’s health regulators in Washington, Dr.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Afghan War and the Evolution of Obama

(A strategy that went from a “good war” to the shorthand “Afghan good enough” reflects the president’s coming to terms with what was possible in Afghanistan).

President Obama’s advisers wrestled with an intractable problem in the spring and summer of 2015: How could they stabilize Afghanistan while preserving Mr. Obama’s longtime goal of pulling out the last American troops before he left office?

As it happened, the president solved the problem for them. In early August of that year, when Mr. Obama convened a meeting of the National Security Council, he looked around the table and acknowledged a stark new reality.…  Seguir leyendo »

Obama on Climate Change: The Trends Are ‘Terrifying’

Seventy-four years ago, a naval battle off this remote spit of land in the middle of the Pacific Ocean changed the course of World War II. Last week, President Obama flew here to swim with Hawaiian monk seals and draw attention to a quieter war — one he has waged against rising seas, freakish storms, deadly droughts and other symptoms of a planet choking on its own fumes.

Bombs may not be falling. The sound of gunfire does not concentrate the mind. What Mr. Obama has seen instead are the charts and graphs of a warming planet.…  Seguir leyendo »

Once Skeptical of Executive Power, Obama Has Come to Embrace It

(Mr. Obama will leave the White House as one of the most prolific authors of major regulations in presidential history).

In nearly eight years in office, President Obama has sought to reshape the nation with a sweeping assertion of executive authority and a canon of regulations that have inserted the United States government more deeply into American life.

Once a presidential candidate with deep misgivings about executive power, Mr. Obama will leave the White House as one of the most prolific authors of major regulations in presidential history.

Blocked for most of his presidency by Congress, Mr.…  Seguir leyendo »