Obama has not fared too badly, feels Pulitzer winner
Barack Obama's promises might have faded and Americans might be more than disappointed by his term so far, but the "clown show" by the Republican camp might well give him another shot at the White House, believes Pulitzer winning author David Remnick.Updated: Jan 20, 2012 21:33 IST
Barack Obama's promises might have faded and Americans might be more than disappointed by his term so far, but the "clown show" by the Republican camp might well give him another shot at the White House, believes Pulitzer winning author David Remnick.
In 2010, he wrote the book 'The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama', two years on, Remnick, who was at the Jaipur Literature Festival, said the Americans were "not just disappointed, but wildly enraged" by Obama's tenure.
However, the veteran American author-journalist does not agree with the notion that Obama has fared too badly. He believes, it has been the weight of expectations rather than policy failures that have bogged him down.
The Nobel Prize though was "ridiculous", he says, and was perhaps awarded to Obama "for not being George W Bush".
In fact, when woken up by Robert Gibbs and told that he had won the Nobel, his reaction was to ask him to get out, Remnick points out.
But, at the same time he points out that the base from where comparison is to be drawn is too low in case of the incumbent.
"Remember where we started from, a position of economic disaster, negative nine per cent growth rate, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, high unemployment, and endorsement of the use of torture.
"Huge amounts of these has been reversed," says Remnick, who has been the author for the New Yorker magazine.
'Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire', which he wrote from his experience as a Moscow correspondent of a leading Washington paper, won Remnick the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1994.
However, ever since he wrote the biography of Barack Obama, he is often bombarded with questions on the president and his policies.
Remnick says while the symbolism of an African American in the White House built by black slaves cannot be discounted, Obama has been up against political forces that have never been in play in America.
"The Tea party movement has caused a disarray in the Republican camp forcing it to turn radically more conservative. And its candidates are doing nothing but play on the anxieties of people," says Remnick.
However, he terms the Republican party candidates’ election campaigns as nothing but a "clown show" with little potential to throw a worthy challenge to the incumbent.
"The race between Clinton and Obama for all its dramatic elements was pretty serious by standards of American politics.... What we are watching now is a clown show in the Republican party," he said.
First Published: Jan 20, 2012 21:30 IST