Barack Obama And The Trend Of Turnaround

When a leader faces a period of trouble, of difficulty, it’s likely he or she will turn to something that they see as their strength. I note this by way of observing that in the last week or so President Barack Obama has made two major speeches during a period of sinking poll numbers, rising controversies, and worsening tensions. First, he spoke about nuclear weapons in Berlin, Germany. Second, he spoke about climate change in Georgetown, Virginia. In both case a single thread runs through the speeches–the issue embraced tends to be one that crosses national boundaries and, indeed, begs for global and multinational action.

This strikes me as a default position and characteristic of President Obama. He is at his most comfortable and at ease in issues, ideas, and concepts that are not what I would call inherently national or nation-based in tone. In the time of his hero–Franklin Roosevelt–they often referred to this as “one-worldism”, a term born ironically out of the book written by a Republican, Wendell Wilkie.

Barack Obama is at home when he’s not at home.