Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Winston Obama

Liked President Obama's evocation of Winston Churchill in discussing the economic crisis.
"I don't want to pretend that today marks the end of our economic problems, nor does it constitute all of what we have to do to turn the economy around," he said in signing the $787 billion stimulus package in Denver on Wednesday. "But today does mark the beginning of the end."
As the Brits themselves noted, "The language is remarkably similar to the famous speech Churchill gave after the battle of El Alamein in 1942, a turning point in the Second World War when he said: 'This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.'"
Churchill spoke presciently. After Marshal Montgomery defeated Gen. Rommel at Alamein, the momentum shifted in favor of the Allied Powers. However, the war lasted three more years before the Allies achieved victory.
How long, by contrast, will Obama's economic end-times last? “If you look at the unemployment numbers ... the fragility of the financial system and the fact that it’s an international system,” he told Tom Brokaw in December 2008, the recession “is a big problem, and it’s going to get worse.”
Obama will need more than Churchillian rhetoric to get him -- and the United States -- through this crisis.

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