Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Honeymoons - how long do they last?

It is now a year since Barack Obama was elected president of the USA. With his recent loss in one of the safest Democratic seats [a Kennedy fiefdom if ever there was one] in New England the wave of unrealistic expectations is over. People say his approval ratings are low and that he is not being the man they expected or wanted him to be.

I disagree: I think, by and large, he is doing an admirable job in very difficult circumstances
Look at the foreign policy changes, universal healthcare reforms, budget and bank action, climate change at the forefront - it is real proof of significant change. And all this in the context of being the first black president

But there are lessons for David Cameron if he wins. He needs to tell people very clearly what he will do and then be very focused on the delivery in office

If we are doing the right thing for the long term - we will need to be very unpopular in the short term. For this reason if we have a short honeymoon it may be a good sign in the longer term.