The lucky stroke crippled me and gave me a new life. Now I'm just unbelievably good looking and modest. Always turn a little to the left.
14 Sep 2011
BARACK OBAMA SHOULD FEEL RIGHT AT HOME DOWN UNDER.... WHY??
It’s as predictable as political leadership gets: When things go awry at home, escape overseas for a while, grip and grin with a foreign head of state and change the subject.
Barack Obama may have this tried-and-true strategy in mind as he plans to visit Australia, which is about as far as a U.S. president can get from the rancor in Washington. Yet as he meets with Prime Minister Julia Gillard in November, it will be hard not to wonder about the weak leadership imperiling not only their economies, but also the world at large.
The similarities between Gillard and Obama are striking. Both are trailblazers -- Australia’s first female leader, the U.S.’s first black one -- who pledged to change the tone in their capitals. Both are likable politicians who inspire visceral and often inexplicable dislike and face daunting levels of opposition from cynical foes out to derail their every effort. Both confront a news media that has swung from fawning to churlish.
Obama is struggling to get any legislation passed while the economy stalls and U.S. standing wanes. Gillard’s inability to get her policies passed risks squandering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to harness the benefits of a mining boom and prepare for when the resources run out.
So maddened are their opponents that they forget what they once stood for. Gillard can’t garner support for a refugee bill that lawmakers probably would have supported before June 2010, when she came to power. Opposition leader Tony Abbott now opposes an emissions-trading system his party championed a few years ago.
They have both drawn bad hands at this poker game.
In the U.S., Republicans are down on Obama’s plan to cut payroll taxes, something they would have supported in an instant in the past. In both cases, the opposition would rather hand leaders political defeats than stay true to their own convictions.
What’s more, both Obama and Gillard were, to varying degrees, dealt bad hands of cards.