Could Barack Obama in 2012 have as much chance as Herbert Hoover in 1932?
I've heard many historians speculate that people might have turned to Herbert Hoover in the Great Depression if FDR had been president when it started. Of course, there wasn't much difference between FDR and Hoover in policies, as Hoover was a progressive Republican who was disliked by the conservatives Harding and Coolidge. I think Barack Obama is a new FDR (FDR was a great speaker, as is Obama), but in the circumstances that Herbert Hoover experienced. One of the Republican frontrunners is Mitt Romney, who, as governor of Massachusetts, passed a health care program virtually identical to the controversial health care program that Obama now wants to pass on a national level. Romney is seen as a skilled businessman like Hoover and is considered the leading moderate wing candidate for 2012 (of course, the moderate wing has historically won most Republican primaries). Could we see an ironic reversal of the history of the Great Depression in the coming years? However, I don't think Romney will be any more successful at bringing about a recovery than Obama. It is also speculated that Americans might have, under slightly different circumstances, turned to a populist during the Depression. The leading populist politician in America today is Sarah Palin. I doubt she can ever get a majority, but I think she might beat both Romney and Obama if she decides to "go rogue" and run as an independent. I could see Palin winning a narrow victory in a 3-way race. Another intriguing possibility is the possibility that Americans might decide that big government is not the solution to our problems, but rather the cause of our problems. Maybe, Americans will turn to an anti-FDR who advocates a return to true 19th century style laissez-faire (or maybe even an economy more laissez-faire than the 19th century) as the solution. Generally, politicians who have a libertarian ideology tend to be uncharismatic (think Ron Paul, who won his supporters based upon the intellectual content of his speeches), which makes it difficult for them to persuade the average voter. Another possibility is that many might decide that Obama wasn't left enough and might decide to turn to a hard-left candidate, possibly perennial candidate Ralph Nader. Another possibility would be a primary challenge from a hard-left Democrat such as Alan Grayson or Dennis Kucinich. Much of Obama's base already thinks that he hasn't done much of anything to advance a progressive agenda. Might many of those who supported Obama in 2008 decide to vote for a "real" leftist in 2012? Of course, all of this speculation is assuming that Obama fails and the economy has collapsed on par with what happened during the Depression. What are the odds that Obama does fail and these scenarios play out?
Asked By: Brad - 10/25/2009
Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
You were right when you said that President Obama is the new FDR, but the rest was bogus. laissez-faire policies are just what got us into the mess then and now. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Hoover did nothing to fix the problems of the... More
Answered By: Sidney - 10/25/2009
Additional Answers (9)
The odds are slim at best, I expect he will have two terms, and may very well need them in order to clean up the toxic mess bush left behind.
Answered By: Nancy - 10/25/2009
brad i think you are not reading the situations or history correctly. hoover exacerbated the depression by cutting spending. this action worsened the depression. fdr's policies were quite different. in fact the depression might have ended sooner if he hadnt listened to the republicans who urged him to stop his... More
Answered By: Tom R - 10/25/2009
I find it interesting how Republicans are now trying to tie themselves to President Obama's coat tails through anything they can.
Answered By: James E Lewis AKA choteau - 10/25/2009
Obama will not fail... More
Answered By: David - 10/25/2009
In1980 it was thought that Jimmy Carter was going to win a second term because the GOP was dead and could come up with nothing but Ronald Reagan who was generally thought of as a cowboy and and idiot well some idiot he turned out to be a two term president at that and I see a similar situation coming up this next time... More
Answered By: JEFF S - 10/25/2009
How many two term Presidents has there been... More
Answered By: Innocent - 10/25/2009
real interesting and smart question. I disagree with your estimation of Palin. I don't think she would have the support from the left who mock her... More
Answered By: soldier - 10/25/2009
I cannot believe you have the audacity to compare FDR and Obama. FDR put Americans to work Obama gave them more welfare. Everything FDR did was to rebuild the self-esteem of a Nation, everything Obama has tried reduces people to dependency and does nothing to give them self worth. FDR said if you want to improve the... More
Answered By: Jerry - 10/25/2009
It may really depend on if a major crisis involving national security comes up. It was the Iran hostage crisis and Carter's mishandling of that that did him in.
Answered By: A. E. Moreira - 11/1/2009
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