Does it really matter if a US president has no policies?
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7 November
16:27
November
2016

Absolutely it does. And I think this has been a real problem for the Obama administration. They haven’t had a vision for American domestic and foreign policy. Presidents do set agendas. As a party leader, and leader of the country, they are supposed to lay out a clear vision and push policies that accomplish that. Obama kind of gave up after the first term. I disagree completely with Obamacare, but it was his vision and it was one he successfully pressed, and he spent a lot of political capital doing it, but after that he was just focused on re-election, and in his second term he’s done really nothing.

"After that he was just focused on re-election, and in his second term he’s done really nothing."

Ronald Reagan, for example, came to office with a clear vision for foreign policy – ending the Cold War and trying to stop the spread of communism worldwide, and his policy succeeded. The Berlin Wall came down, and the Soviet Union fell apart. On the domestic front, he had a clear vision for empowering the private sector by reducing taxes, and he walked across the aisle to get that done. He had the vision, as well as the charisma and the people skills required to work with a Democratic congress to get his policies passed.

The fall of the Berlin Wall, 1989

Presidents should not be reactionary. They should be proactive, in terms of domestic and foreign policy. Obama’s foreign policy in his second term has been particularly pathetic: his own red line in Syria which he ignored, and he’s let Russia walk all over us. I don’t think he has used the presidency to push for a clear vision for the country and for the world.

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