Voices from Russia

Friday, 23 January 2009

Barack Obama: The Hyperactive President

obama

US President Barack Obama (1961- )

The newly-elected US President, Barack Obama, demonstrated hyperactivity as he rushed to perform his duties immediately after moving into the White House. Right from his very first hours in his capacity as President, Mr Obama exerted every effort to distance himself from the policies of his predecessor, George W. Bush. Mr Obama made it crystal-clear that his policies will mark a new era for America. The New York Times wrote in the wake of his inaugural speech and his first decisions that President Obama proclaimed new values and wants the Bush administration to be forgotten as quickly as possible.

The new president ordered all resolutions and projects of the previous administration suspended until they have been carefully examined by the new Cabinet. The relevant decree came just hours after the swearing-in ceremony. Next, he stated that since the US government had long acted under the cover of inordinate secrecy, he would try to make it more open. Civil servants were rushed to act faster in supplying information on the requests filed, and, after freezing the wages of top officials, the president launched an open campaign against lobbyists.

As for foreign policy, Mr Obama’s first step was to suspend for 120 days all US prosecution proceedings in Guantánamo in Cuba. By this, President Obama made it clear that he meant to act on his election promises. He phoned the leaders of Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Autonomy, and pledged serious aid in promoting an Arab-Israeli settlement. The new president also held the first meeting of the US State Department on foreign policy priorities. Attending the meeting were Vice-President Joseph Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who can get down to working on an official basis after her candidacy has been approved by the Senate. Some reports say that Mrs Clinton may visit Moscow soon, and that President Obama shall follow suit afterwards. Neither President Medvedev nor the Foreign Ministry confirmed the reports.

The current hyperactivity demonstrated by the new US president stems from the fact that, unlike his predecessors, he is pressed for time and can’t afford to lose it. The longer he postpones addressing urgent economic and political issues, the worse they will become. The most important thing is to proceed cautiously to avoid mistakes. As for Mr Obama’s attempts to make it clear that his rule marks a new era in the history of America and will send the years of George Bush’s rule into oblivion, the targets seem fairly difficult to meet. The new president has yet to prove his ambitions have ground to stand on. Moreover, the previous leader left such a miserable legacy that the nation is highly unlikely to forget it all in the near future.

23 January 2009

andrei-ptashnikovAndrei Ptashnikov

Voice of Russia World Service

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=39271&cid=87&p=23.01.2009

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