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Column: Bush Grabs Blame For Country's Greater Good

This story was written by Robert Downs, Minnesota Daily


When President-elect Barack Obama gets inaugurated on Jan. 20, he will have a luxury that many candidates have been deprived of in the past. Idon'tmeana $30 million campaign surplus. Obama will be able to indulge in a climate that does not require accountability. Facing a war in Iraq, struggling economy and staggering job loss, Obama will have his hands full when he enters office. The public, as well as the media, will not point fingers at Obama while he places his new programs into place. Obama is blessed with the opportunity to be responsible for one the largest economic turnaround in the history of the United States.

The first issue Obama will have to deal with is the bailout money. The Senate will not give the Big Three automakers the $34 billion they asked for during Bushs term because an objecting president makes it evident that they are solely responsible for the decision which can be used against them in election years.The maximum bailout that the Senate will be willing to give out now is $10 billion, and the automakers will be under close watch with policy changes, restructuring, layoffs and other measures that prove that they are making an effort. Any large-scale monetary abdication will take place under the Obama administration because it is no secret that Obama is willing to raise taxes to pay for government spending. This makes a vote for a substantial bailout bill much less of a risk for incumbent senators during an election.

Obama will not be blamed for ineffective policies, either: President George W. Bush is taking care of that. During a Dec. 1 interview, Bush uttered a rare statement of regret regarding the invasion and handling of the war in Iraq. Bush admitted that the decision to go to war against Saddam Hussein on the basis of flawed intelligence was the biggest regret of his presidency. The acknowledgment marks the first time that Bush has publicly expressed doubts about his rationale for going to war on Iraq.

Bush is becoming a martyr for the incoming administration a role likely driven by behind-the-scene pressures, courtesy of the incoming administration. Somebody in Bushs camp dutifully realized that the public would give the hero more leeway after they chastise the villain. Expect additional apropos statements from Bush before Obama is sworn in regarding his fault in the recession although remarks may not be demonstratively stated.

Ronald Reagan came up to the plate with the bases loaded in the 1980 election. After Reagan won the election against incumbent Jimmy Carter, he was faced with a hostage crisis at the U.S. embassy in Iran, an oil shortage and high gas prices. As a welcoming gift that any president would like to receive, Reagans inauguration was followed by the swift release of all the hostages in Iran. Not only did Reagan solve the hostage situation, the only thing he had to do was to get sworn in.

Obamas successes wont come that easy. If Obamas programs do not yield results before the election cycle in 2012, the voting public may not be very sympathetic. However, if his plans show promise and change within four years, Obama is poised to be regarded as one of the most successful and admired presidents since Franklin Delano Roosevelt .

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