Novelist Jay McInerney: Obama Deserves Second Term Because “Disappointed but Not Yet Betrayed Us”

English: Barack Obama delivers a speech at the...
Novelist Jay McInerney: Obama Deserves Second Term Because “Disappointed but Not Yet Betrayed Us” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since the Israelis, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, are trying to influence the presidential election, I guess it follows that the Brits should be expected to take a position as well. The Guardian’s Jay McInerney says President Obama deserves a second term.

Jay McInerney on Obama: The best we can say about Obama’s foreign policy record is that he’s not George Bush, that he managed to end the absurd and unjustified war in Iraq. His escalation of the war in Afghanistan has been a failure – every foreign power to invade Afghanistan has been humiliated in the end. Sarkozy took the lead in rallying Nato to aid the Libyan rebels, and Obama’s failure to aid the Syrian rebels seems increasingly like a betrayal of his stated ideals and a failure of leadership.

And yet… the symbolism of an African-American president is still incredibly potent, even after four years. (Yesterday I spotted a poster in the window of a barber shop in the largely African-American South Bronx – a portrait of Martin Luther King under the caption “The Dreamer” beside a portrait of Barack Obama; caption: “The Dream”.) He remains the most charismatic of world leaders. One gets the sense of a man who is comfortable in his skin, comfortable with his place in the world, of a man who generally means what he says, and says it elegantly. It’s hard to get any sense of the personality of Mitt Romney, who seems like a robot with excellent hair.

Obama may have lost some of his mystique, and disappointed many of us, but he hasn’t yet irrevocably betrayed us, or his ideals, and he will probably get another chance to fulfil some of the great expectations of 2008.

While I have always been tepid on the Obama presidency, the alternative is not is not attractive in my opinion. Mitt Romney, who was Massachusetts “vacationer-in-chief” cannot tell us with a straight face how his proposals will help the middle class, much less what tax loopholes he plans on closing. The comments left by readers of McInerney’s article, mostly written by Americans, are interesting, some insulting. Here’s a sampling:

–I’d have been more impressed by Obama if he were a socialist, but the chances of a socialist President being elected in the United States is even slimmer than the chances of a socialist being elected as Prime Minister in the United Kingdom. He’s a centrist, and on home turf at least he poses little or no threat to most of the citizens and residents of the U.S. The same may not be said of Romney and Ryan, who are a frightening pair, and who are likely to do a great deal of damage inside and outside the U.S. The best I hope for these days is a President who will do little harm, and Obama is the only candidate who fits that description.

–Obama is a nobody. I voted for him, and now I am sorry that I did. He hasn’t accomplished anything in four years, nothing, nada. I look forward with enthusiasm to getting him and his people the hell out of DC. Go back to Chicago and be nothing again for all we care. Our mistake.

–The only good thing about him is he isn’t as bad as the other.

–John Edwards might have been good.

–You only have to look at the alternative to see that Obama must have a second chance.

–He’s done a great job of not being a Republican President. And whilst I’d love for America to be run by a bona fide leftie, we all know that’s never gonna happen.

–If Obama wins he keeps out the guy who’s backed by misogynists, racists,homophobes, evangelicals, and other assorted nutters. That’s the best we can hope for from a US election. Always vote for the least worst option.

–When an electoral system allows a choice between 2 options, then it’s enough to say “at least he’s not Bush” or “Romney will do more harm”.

–American politics is fundamentally dead – no President can fix the damn place – even if a left-centre politician gets the keys to the White House as Obama did, the inherent nature of modern American politics handcuffs him.

Rupert Murdoch sent the following tweets:

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