Magazine May 17, 2021, Issue

Obama, Revised

(Roman Genn)
Biden seeks to avoid his mistakes

Democrats are determined not to repeat the mistakes they made during the Obama years. But their assessment of the successes and failures of the last Democratic president has been more wishful than hardheaded, and the lessons the party has learned are correspondingly mistaken.

The fact that Democrats in D.C. are trying to avoid replicating mistakes rather than building on achievements itself marks a change in their view of Barack Obama. High, sometimes messianic hopes greeted his ascension to power. Oprah Winfrey called him “the one” during the 2008 campaign. A columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle reported, “Many spiritually advanced people

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Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


The Week

The Week

President Biden’s climate summit was a step forward in a process that is likely to end up being a very good deal for America’s rivals.


The Latest

Rat Patrol

Rat Patrol

Illegal leaks of classified information should be treated as a serious offense. But they would be easier to prevent if less information were classified.
Why Obama Failed

Why Obama Failed

In a revealing interview, Obama tried to burnish his image for progressive posterity — but he still doesn’t understand his fundamental errors.