Daily Archives: March 26, 2010

The Democrats’ healthcare victory has set some large political forces in motion. Gideon Rachman rightly points out that the implications extend beyond the United States.

Increasingly Mr Obama was portrayed overseas as weak, indecisive and ineffective. That is now likely to change–at least for a while–in the wake of the passage of healthcare reform. As a result, Mr Obama now has a chance to relaunch his presidency, abroad as well as at home…

Gideon argues that Obama can no longer be dismissed as all talk. The healthcare triumph makes him look like a winner not a loser. It makes him look tenacious and determined. He might start to get more respect from foreign leaders, commensurate with his popularity among ordinary folk. And there might be a pay-off in terms of his country’s image abroad.

By committing his nation to providing healthcare for nearly everyone, Mr Obama will undermine the Michael Moore vision of America as a country where big business ruthlessly exploits the downtrodden poor. This is a cartoon version of the US that is wildly popular in Europe and around the world. It will be harder to propagate in the wake of the passage of Mr Obama’s healthcare reforms.

I agree. All that seems plausible. But there are some countervailing tendencies.

Clive Crook’s blog

This blog is no longer updated but it remains open as an archive.

I have been the FT's Washington columnist since April 2007. I moved from Britain to the US in 2005 to write for the Atlantic Monthly and the National Journal after 20 years working at the Economist, most recently as deputy editor. I write mainly about the intersection of politics and economics.

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