Obama one year on

A year into office, Obama seems increasingly detached and self-obsessed. It is difficult to tell whether any event or issue truly moves him. In the aftermath of the Fort Hood massacre he was positively surreal. He treated the event as if it had happened on the far side of the moon. Completely missing was the eloquence he employs when talking about himself. Absent too was any feeling of empathy with the victims’ families such as would have been obvious in an address by Reagan or Clinton – or even George Bush. As for his health services bill, even if it does eventually pass into law, it presupposes that a huge, continental country can have one of its essential services run along the lines of the Chinese Army or the Indian Railways. Such a presupposition is counter intuitive and – with the NHS as an alarming model – pulling it off would certainly be a neat trick.

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