Is Obama Turning Into Carter?

By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2009 8:28 AM CDT
President Barack Obama poses with former presidents, from left, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009, in the Oval Office.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – Facing a burdensome political agenda, decreased popularity, and widespread opposition to his key policies, President Barack Obama appears poised to become the next Jimmy Carter, Matt Welch and Nick Gillespie write in the Washington Post. Both are "smart, moralistic" presidents who inherited brutal economies, but both responded with top-heavy spending. “Obama has mistaken his personal popularity for a national predilection toward emergency-driven central planning,” they write.

But Obama “has always resembled Clinton more than Carter,” and that means he should skip Carter’s pie-in-the-sky ambitions and stick to the Slick Willy strategy—limited spending and government growth, together with sound economic policy. "This might help him avoid the Carteresque pileup he's driving into,” Welch and Gillespie write. “Far more important, it just might help the rest of us.”