Graydon Carter: The right man at the right time

Share
Related Topics

Barack Obama's that rarity in American politics, a man of his word, and he has already kept a number of his campaign promises. Guantánamo will be closed; Cuba is opening up; CIA black sites have been shut down; the environment and healthcare have been moved to the front burner; the timetable for removing ourselves from Iraq has been established; he's shifted attention to Afghanistan. His poll numbers are strong; 31 per cent more Americans now believe the country is on the right course than did at the start of the year. We like this president, we want to see what he can do, and we appear to be willing to give him the time to do it.

He has laid out his long-term plans and repeatedly explained them to the American public. There's a calming effect in this, and it fosters patience. He is a thoughtful, serious man, in the right office, in the right time in the nation's history.

There are any number of areas that may prove his undoing – some of his making, some not. The administration's reaction to the global financial crisis has been a grab-bag of expensive possible remedies. But so were FDR's when he was trying to pull the country out of the Great Depression. Obama might become the first president since Lyndon Johnson to forge a significant advance toward universal healthcare in this country. Even the drug and healthcare industries seem resigned to some sort of major change.

Afghanistan could well wind up being for him what Vietnam was for Kennedy and Johnson. And the financial mess dumped on him by the Bush White House could prove unfixable. Those were inherited problems. His reaction to unforeseen events will be a telling test of his political mettle. And so far, he's been so good, and so smart, that the subject of his race isn't even a surface issue.

The man has bitten off a lot, but he appears to have the appetite, intellect, and light energy to become a transformative commander-in-chief in the vein of FDR or Reagan.

Graydon Carter is the editor of 'Vanity Fair'

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Subsea Cables Installation Project Manager

£50000 - £60000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Subsea Cables Installation Project Manager

£50000 - £60000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Head of Offshore Operations & Interfaces

£60000 - £70000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Offshore Engineering Design Manager

£50000 - £60000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Day In a Page

Read Next
A Palestinian man carries the body of a one-year-old baby Noha Mesleh, who died of wounds sustained after a UN school in Beit Hanun was hit by an Israeli tank shell  

Gaza is too busy burying its children to report on its injured owls

Mira Bar Hillel
Abd Mubin Rahim of Malaysia falls to the floor after an unsuccessful lift during the Men's Weightlifting  

Usain Bolt was right about the Commonwealth Games, but we shouldn't blame the organisers

Teddy Cutler
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices