Friday, April 3, 2009


President Obama, in his first major economic summit, did remarkably well at the recent G20 conference in London. His honesty, humility, and clear grasp of the situation at hand were well received by the leaders of the 20 nations in attendance. His knack for consensus-building and his powers of persuasion were in strong evidence. To get European countries like France and Germany to agree to pool into a massive $1.2 trillion global New Deal-type effort to stave off a world depression was no minor accomplishment. For France's President Nicolas Sarkozy and Germany's Prime Minister Angela Merkel were both expressing major reservations to this approach at the conference's outset. Indeed, Sarkozy even threatened to go home early if he perceived it to be a fruitless gathering.

Many of the participants were publicly and correctly blaming the United States and its disastrous Republican-sponsored economic policies of the Bush years for the current crisis: deregulation and mammoth overspeculation. Obama honestly acknowledged our contribution to the problem but deftly shifted the focus from blame on America to a common and united effort to stimulate economic recovery throughout the world by channeling more resources into the International Monetary Fund and increasing developmental funding in individual countries.

Such true consensus-building is becoming a hallmark of Obama's leadership style. Even his ability to mediate was evident early on. When Chinese President Hu Jintao and French President Sarkozy got into a heated exchange over tax havens which could have torn the conference apart, Obama took direct action in speaking individually with both leaders and then eventually pulling them together for a successful compromise. With his direct leadership and one-man-among-peers demeanor, Obama has restored America's credibility in economic and foreign affairs and has successfully demonstrated that his will be no Bushian "my way or the highway" approach to governance and diplomacy. Such a change is a very welcome breath of fresh air for foreign leaders and was thus received extraordinarily well.

These displays of global cooperation and response to reason are very encouraging. But consensus can only be achieved in an atmosphere of honesty and desire for universal benefit. I contrast President Obama's success in consensus-building abroad with the difficulties he has had here at home with the opposition Republican Party. Such figures as John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Sarah Palin, Mitch McConnell, Mike Pence, Mark Sanford, and Michael Steele all pale in comparison with the vision, grasp, and pragmatism shown by Obama, the UK's Prime Minister Gordon Brown, France's Sarkozy, and all the rest of the G20 attendees. Because the forementioned Republicans are so petty and of limited vision explains why they are becoming increasingly irrelevant and are in a shrinking and uninfluential minority status. My advice to them: start going along, or get out of the way of progress! Standing alone as a stupidly immobuile, stubborn, and uncooperative band of nay-sayers clinging onto the past is accomplishing nothing.

President Obama did an outstanding job at the G20 conference. He rekindled the world's belief in and love for America on many levels. We were undeniably well-served by him the past few days, and we were, and continue to be, definitely getting our money's worth!


Gwendolyn H. Barry said...

Oh,WELL DONE JACK! Excellent observations & points. Esp. about those MF'ing Repubs in DC! [as you can tell, I'm extraordinarily pissed at them -everyone you labeled in this piece- and more of them, to boot!] And ta for the comment on my piece. We have to keep up the energy and info here... and I so agree that it's time for the President to steamroll over these inepts and criminal politico's. You offer very crisp, acute views that should be digested, so I hope you don't mind that I posted this piece of yours on my (dare I admit to it?) facebk page? Hey, getting it out and around! I enjoy being able to find the resources you pinpoint, also. Have you read Matt Tiabbi's articles on it all over at Rolling Stone...stunning stuff. Clear and eloquent. Each and every 'we're fucked!' in them. But I don't think we will continue to be so screwed... change is occurring... though I don't actually fall into step will all of the new White House ideas / plans... I support all of it overall. An 'all or nothing' kind of reserve. Still... better days are here... he's over there making such a large difference.
I look forward to your next post!
as ever...

Jack Jodell said...

Thanks, Gwensolyn, and I'm flattered that you put the post on facebook. Thanks! I haven't read Matt's stuff yet but intend on looking into it soon. A lot's been happening lately. You're right---we have to just dig in our heels and tough it out. These CRAZY Repubs are enough to give ya Republican-induced anemia! Battling their absolute nonsense is a 24/7/366 job! I hope they get their butts ROYALLY kicked in the next 2 elections, just like they were in 1934 and 1936! Then and only then will these idiots FINALLY get the message and get their heads out of their butts!

Burr Deming said...

A good account of a terrific performance by the President. Thank you.

Jack Jodell said...

Thanks, Burr, and doesn't Obama make you feel great to be an American again?

Max's Dad said...

Great post on the conference. I learn more from you than from the newsmedia, so fixated on Michelle's clothes and an I-pod. German chancellor Angela Merkel was probably ecstatic she wouldn't be backrubbed by a creepy Texan for once. Kepp on fighting to good fight!

Jack Jodell said...

Thanks for the nice comments! Yeah, our media is so obsessed with entertainment and confrontation or spectacle, they hardly leave any room for real news. How they can be so repetitive and offer so little depth or breadth 24/7 is way beyond me. And you're right---Merkel was undoubtedly overjoyed she didn't get pawed. I'm far from a prude, but what Bush did to her last time was waaaaaayyyyy over the top and quite UN-presidential. It is SO refreshing to finally have a President who is intelligent and articulate after 8 long years of the opposite, isn't it?

Beach Bum said...

I can't describe how relaxing it was to hear a president of the United States speak and not have the almost uncontrollable desire to rip what little hair I have left.
President Obama showed what real communication and understanding was on this trip.
Great blog, surfed over from Vigil's site.

Jack Jodell said...

Thanks for the visit and nice comment, Beach Bum! Y'all come back now from time to time, ok? I share your opinion about Obama's performance (obviously). Here is a clear thinking and inspirational strategist. I am liking his intelligence and true leadership more every day! Man! We sure jumped from one extreme to the other last election day, didn't we? Just in the nick of time, too!

mud_rake said...

Excellent ideas. Isn't it grand that there is a fully-functioning adult male at the helm of our ship for a change? A man who does not need pranks or machismo in order to get through life.

Of course, the ugly right-wing of the current ruling junta of the GOP has their panties all in a knot over the success of President Obama. Yet, rather than stand in awe and applaud what he has accomplished in his short term so far, they act like a bunch of adolescents sitting i time-out or detention at high school.

Do people still listen to them? What type of person tunes into John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Sarah Palin, Mitch McConnell, Mike Pence, Mark Sanford, and Michael Steele? What do they have to say that is of any importance any longer?

What an ugly knot of ingrates these people represent!

Jack Jodell said...

Thanks, mud_rake! Those who follow and agree with the far-right are fearful, stubborn, and ignorant people. They're very self-centered and unethical, too. They will, cheat, steal, lie, and distort to advance their cause or gain and maintain power. They must be the nerdy misfit kids in school who finally reached physical adulthood (but their mental capacities didn't), and now they're hell-bent on making everyone else feel as miserable as they did or do. Sick, pathetic creatures!

SJ said...

Excellent recap.
It's hard to believe he's only been in office since February.
It's staggering to have a president who can speak clearly and with the power of reason again.
We deserve a president who behaves like a class act when abroad and can simply and directly communicate the world's challenges to all the world's leaders so we can all work toward solutions.

Jack Jodell said...

Thanks, SJ, and it IS hard to believe we haven't even had him for 100 days yet! He has certainly hit the ground running and is indeed clear-thinking and articulate. I just hope the blue dogs won't screw up his budget or health care plan, because we desperately need both! I am reading an excellent book by Michael Parenti called "Democracy for the Few." For details, email me at and in the subject line just put SJ, ok? Thanks, my friend.