Before Barack Obama’s first year in office was over, the whisper of failure was already on lips of disillusioned progressives like Kuttner (Obama’s Challenge). For The American Prospect co-founder and co-editor, Obama’s embrace of Wall Street insiders like Timothy Geithner, Robert Rubin, and Lawrence Summers irrevocably sullied the President’s message of hope and change. Worse, Kuttner sees nothing original in Obama’s responses to the recession; bailing out banks over homeowners and reappointing Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke were simple retreads of Clinton and Bush II policies. Indeed, Kuttner argues that Obama ignored the template for economic recovery set by Roosevelt during the Great Depression, preferring to seek consensus on all fronts and failing to adopt more radical measures to restore the economy to health. Since it’s already too late to “seize a Roosevelt moment,” Kuttner sees Obama’s best hope in a Harry Truman-style resurrection by finally taking on obstructionist Republicans, remaking himself as a “plainspoken man of the common people,” and opening himself to proposals from the left wing of his own party. Kuttner remains optimistic, but pulls no punches: a “feckless” Obama has disappointed American voters with more of the same. (May)
Reviewed on: 07/26/2010 Release date: 04/01/2010 Genre: Nonfiction
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