Warum gewinnt Obama?

PRINCETON – Bill Clintons oberster Wahlkampfstratege, James Carville, gab im Jahr 1992 mittlerweile berühmtes Insiderwissen darüber preis, wie man Wahlen gewinnt: „Auf die Wirtschaft kommt es an, Dummkopf.” Amtsinhaber gewinnen in Zeiten rosiger Wirtschaftsaussichten, während sie in schweren Zeiten angreifbar sind – wie einst George H.W. Bush. Tatsächlich wurden in Europa – in Frankreich, Griechenland, Irland, Portugal, Spanien und Großbritannien – Regierungen angesichts einer Krise entlassen, zu deren Lösung sie offenbar nicht in der Lage waren.

So gesehen müsste sich Präsident Barack Obama heute in einer hoffnungslosen Situation befinden. Den Daten der US-Statistikbehörde United States Census zufolge fiel das Haushaltseinkommen im Jahr 2011 zum vierten Mal in Folge. Die Arbeitslosigkeit bleibt trotz des 787-Milliarden-Dollar-Konjunkturpakets aus dem Jahr 2009 anhaltend hoch und die Immobilienpreise befinden sich, trotz langsamer Erholung, noch immer unter dem Spitzenwert der Jahre vor 2008. 

Und doch scheint es wahrscheinlich, dass Obama im November wiedergewählt wird. Ein Grund dafür ist, dass es keinerlei verlässliche Möglichkeit gibt, wirtschaftliche Effektivität unmittelbar zu beurteilen. Auch das Vermächtnis, das Obama erbte  – er übernahm das Amt inmitten einer größeren Wirtschafts- und Finanzkatastrophe – spielt eindeutig eine große Rolle. Präsident George W. Bush und Premierminister Gordon Brown sind offenkundig in stärkerem Maße für die Finanzkrise verantwortlich als ihre Nachfolger, die das Chaos beseitigen müssen.

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