Friday, October 10, 2008

Obama Channeling F.D.R.

As I stated here some time ago, Obama is looking more and more like Franklin Roosevelt in 1932, as the Great Depression turned America into a place of fear, anxiety, and desperation. Here is E. J. Dionne in today's WaPo"

Obama and McCain are giving us a clear sense of who they are and how they would lead. It would seem that Obama has been studying the 1932 campaign of Franklin D. Roosevelt. The key to Roosevelt's victory was not a big program but a jaunty sense of optimism in the midst of despair that led to his signature inaugural line -- "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Less famously, Roosevelt declared in his acceptance speech that "this is no time for fear, for reaction or for timidity."

In recent days, Obama has painted himself as calm, pragmatic, open and hopeful. He seemed to be channeling FDR when he
told a crowd in Indianapolis on Wednesday: "This isn't a time for fear or for panic. This is a time for resolve and steady leadership."

As for McCain, his campaign is trying to sow fear and panic about Obama. That's exactly what Herbert Hoover tried to do with Roosevelt. Days before the 1932 election, Hoover attacked Roosevelt's "inchoate New Deal." He predicted it would "crack the timbers of the Constitution" and warned voters to beware of the "glitter of promise."

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