I’ve mentioned my former boss Bob Kuttner’s book, Obama’s Challenge: America’s Economic Crisis and the Power of a Transformative Presidency before, but it’s not only a very interesting read, it’s obviously been given a new resonance by recent events. It’s increasingly clear that Obama is likely to take office amidst some very troubled times. Times that create the opportunity for bold strokes that could do the country an enormous amount of good, but that also raise the prospect of a Carter-esque situation in which a well-intentioned leader is swamped by unfavorable circumstances. It looks increasingly unlikely, by contrast, that a “responsible stewardship” model in which you manage things well and improve many policies at the margin will be viable.
Fortunately, a discussion of the book is starting within minutes downstairs from my office, so I’m going to go check it out.