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US Podcast: Obama Says Goodbye — But What Has He Accomplished?

US Podcast: Obama Says Goodbye — But What Has He Accomplished?
January 12
09:12 2017

PHOTO: President Obama waves good-bye: “He needed to confront some issues head-on”

I spoke on Wednesday with BBC Breakfast TV and BBC radio outlets about President Obama’s farewell speech in Chicago and his lasting accomplishments.

I have mixed feeling on both topics, as I told BBC Radio WM. The chat also includes an introduction to the claimed evidence of Russia compromising President-elect Donald Trump and the effect on his incoming Administration.

Listen to discussion

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I’m not sure it was the right speech for two reasons.

The first is that Obama might say America is a better country [since he took office in 2009], but it’s a very nervous, divided country right now.

This came across more as a pep rally: the people was speaking to already support him. I think he needed to speak more widely to a range of Americans, which leads me to my second point.

I think he needed to confront some issues head-on and say, “Look, these are serious times,” rather than this far-flung speech about achievements and general challenges.

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About Author

Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

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1 Comment

  1. Don Cox
    Don Cox January 12, 11:58

    America is clearly in a worse condition than it was eight years ago. This isn’t exactly Obama’s fault, although he could have been more hard-headed and less anxious to be liked.
    Lyndon Johnson was a ruthless bastard and accomplished much more.
    I would group Obama with Woodrow Wilson as a well-meaning academic.
    His main achievement was normalizing relations with Cuba. And he didn’t prevent the natural economic recovery after 2008. His worst failure was in dealing with the Muslim world.

    Reply to this comment

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