Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Views of an Intelligent Outsider: Clive Crook and the Financial Times

An Objective Opinion from an Objective Source

Rick Perry
The Illustration Accompanying Mr. Crook's Article
No We Don't Completely Understand it Either

The Dismal Political Economist has long believed that the further from the problem an observer can be, the more objective and useful is the opinion of that observer.  Clive Crook is the Washington correspondent for the London based Financial Times.  His critiques of the U. S. political and economic situation are almost always more valuable than any domestic writer.

Mr. Crook’s most recent comments are under the headline

The unelectable appeal of Rick Perry

And his piece starts out with this, which neatly summarizes the situation.

Some months ago, I speculated that the US election of 2012 could match a failed incumbent against an unelectable challenger. The odds on this scenario have shortened.

On Mr. Obama he says

The president, before starting his own vacation, was on a campaign-style bus tour of the Midwest. He said the economy was not in danger of falling back into recession.

Few were reassured. Did he have some new initiative to promote? No, but he promised to have one when Congress got back. A new Gallup poll showed that barely one-quarter of voters now approve of his handling of the economy.

The entrance of Mr. Perry was described this way

 The Texan has more charisma than the rest of the GOP field together – too much for his own good. Eager and overconfident, he is capable of saying astonishingly stupid things, as he proved immediately.

The conclusion

a 14-month campaign that divides the country even more deeply, adds to uncertainty about long-term economic policy, fails to resolve anything but paralyses government in the meantime, all with the economy sliding back into recession, is not a good plan.

So from Mr. Crook’s position can Mr. Perry win the election and set the U. S. on a new course radically different than what has occurred the last 80 years?  Can Mr. Perry be President?  Mr. Crook’s final words say no,

Reagan and Carter Not
Obama and Perry

Arresting as the parallel may seem, Mr Perry cannot be Ronald Reagan to Mr Obama’s Jimmy Carter.

but his instinct says “maybe”.

Voters in the US are close to despair about the federal government’s dysfunction. They do not believe Washington can be mended. If possible, they would like it ploughed under. Mr Perry perfectly expresses this sentiment.

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