Alex Massie

Obama & Reagan

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I've remarked before that Barack Obama is, in many ways, American liberalism's long-delayed response to Ronald Reagan. This chart, found via Andrew Sullivan, comparing their Gallup approval ratings, is uncanny:

Clearly, none of this is predictive, far-less guaranteeing that Obama will recover and romp to a second term as Reagan did. But what it does do is permit one to imagine both the upper and lower set of expectations one may reaonably hold for the rest of Obama's Presidency. (This has nothing to do with the wisdom of Obama's policies or one's approval of them).

It's also a reminder to pundits everywhere that Presidents' ability to "make the political weather" is seriously limited. They too are subject to the swings and roundabouts of the economy and this, much more than anything they do on any given day, is what determines most political success most of the time.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

Topics in this articleInternationaleconomy