Bill Clinton once declared that “the era of big government is over.” Barack Obama can’t do that, writes Paul Krugman of the New York Times. “Indeed, he has to be a goo-goo.” Goo-goo being a century-old term for “good government” proponents. FDR, for example, was a classic goo-goo. He expanded government and improved its reputation at the same time.
He did that by building oversight directly into the New Deal and building a real rapport with the public. Obama must follow suit, making sure his stimulus plan is rigorously structured and completely pork-free. As for the rapport building, Democrats aren’t off to a great start. The possible Caroline Kennedy coronation validates conservative propaganda denouncing "liberal elites," and Obama’s luxury Hawaiian vacation isn't a great image for the financially frightened.