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Obama’s 10 best and 10 worst moves of the year revealed
Washington, Nov 5 (Agencies):
Published on 5 Nov. 2009 11:17 PM IST
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The Politico web site has spoken to a dozen political insiders and pulled together a list of President Barack Obama’s 10 best and 10 worst moves of the year. The 10 best moves are: Letting Congress take the lead on health care: Funny how times change. For most of the year, this strategic decision looked destined for the “worst” list. Obama criticised for no plan of his own. But with health care almost certain to pass, letting Congress take the lead, as messy and painful as it was, is looking like a political winner for the President. Picking Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State – and not vice president: Hillary has had a couple of stumbles on her current overseas trip, but overall, this remains one of Obama’s savviest moves. It serves a double purpose: it keeps her from serving as an independent power centre within the Democratic Party as a New York Senator, and it keeps a certain former president from wandering the West Wing. But Bill Clinton’s stature from wandering the world as a global do-gooder can’t hurt. “The same things that made Senator (Hillary) Clinton a complicated choice for vice president made her an obvious and inspired choice for Secretary of State,” said Democratic strategist Steve McMahon. “Namely, the fact that president Clinton already has such established relations with world leaders.” Passing the stimulus bill and continuing bank bailouts: Controversial, to be sure. But leading economists broadly agree that these two mega-doses of taxpayer cash into the economy are pretty much all that’s holding the economy together right now. “On the domestic front, the one two punch of financial stabilization and stimulus saved the economy from a worsening recession,” said former Bill Clinton press secretary Joe Lockhart. “Neither was popular, but together they worked.” The downside is that this gusher of cash has galvanised Obama’s opponents like almost nothing else he’s done – as witnessed by Tuesday’s election results. Still, for now at least, stimulus and TARP look like a win. Nominating Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court: In Sotomayor, Obama picked an eminently qualified jurist and disciplined nominee who thrilled the liberal base and confounded his conservative opposition. He also helped solidify the growing Hispanic vote for his party. At the height of the nomination fight, former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich took to his Twitter feed to denounce Sotomayor as a racist. Gingrich backed down, but Republicans will likely hear the echo of little outburst in 2010 and 2012. Taking out those pirates: OK, technically, credit should go to the US Navy sharpshooters whose amazing precision shots killed three of the pirates holding an American cargo ship captain hostage, but Obama as Commander in Chief looked decisive for signing off on the mission.

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