Michael Barone: With Obama, too much nuance, not enough power
By: Michael Barone
Senior Political Analyst
September 27, 2009
|President Barack Obama comments in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Thursday, June 25, 2009, on the importance of the passing of the energy bill. (AP)|
“It is my deeply held belief,” Barack Obama told the United Nations General Assembly, that “in the year 2009 — more than at any point in human history — the interests of nations and peoples are shared.” That is of course the year Obama became president, and he wasn’t shy about referring in his second paragraph to “the expectations that accompany my presidency around the world,” though he assured us they “are not about me.”
Before Obama’s speech, I wrote that he seems “stuck in a time warp in which the United States is the bad guy.” Not any more, he seemed to say in his U.N. speech. He has ordered the closing of Guantanamo. He has prohibited the use of torture. He is “responsibly ending” the war in Iraq (no triumphalist talk of victory). He is promising substantial reductions in U.S. nuclear weapons. He has invested $80 billion in clean energy. The United States has joined the United Nations’ Human Rights Council.
All of which is a way of saying that nasty George W. Bush is no longer around with all his self-righteous swagger, and that with (as Obama did not fail to note) the first African-American installed in the White House, America is now on the same page with the rest of the world.