Stanley's blog

Welcome President Barack Obama! The world’s spotlight is now on a White House of hope and not one of fear. But we all have to wait and see. The biggest doubt remains over Obama’s lack of experience.

Simon Serfaty’s short interview in this week’s Le Point offers, an interesting, and in my view, perceptive perspective. The very long electoral campaign was, for Obama, “une valse à trois temps”. First, he learnt his dossiers under Hilary Clinton; second, after winning the primary he began planning his adminstration, seeking to integrate the Clintonians and attract a broader spectrum, Colin Powell being the most significant; and third, he served his apprenticehip during the Georgian and financial crises, where he showed a moderate, non-partisan approach.

A man of action, he does not have the passion of a Sarkozy, but is gifted with “an infinite intellectual curiosity”. A man who “seeks to seduce not to convince”. His understanding stems both from being a black man brought up in a white family and a white man brought up in a black family.

Lest the optimism of our hearts distorts the reality of the challenges facing the new President, it should be borne in mind that Obama’s popular vote does not currently exceed 53%.

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  1. Yes Obama may lack experience, but he knows how to manage other people’s experience and who to choose to do what. The good leader is less the one who can do everything by himself than the one who can surround himself with the right people and choose them for the right positions. And here I think we can rest assured of Obama’s competence.

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