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Obama has lessons to learn from the past


Atishay Abhi,CNN-IBN
Nov 07, 2008 at 12:23am IST

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New Delhi: Barack Obama's call for change during his acceptance speech, a call to change the future of America, but on the road to changing the future he also made history.

And now as the 16th democratic president of the United States, he will have democratic history to guide him through the challenges ahead

The first in his to-do list, resolve the biggest financial crisis since the great depression of the 1930’s and Obama could do well to take his cue from America's 32nd president Franklin Roosevelt.

He stepped into the white house only to be hit by the Great depression and spent his first 100 days on the strategy of immediate relief which went on to give America the social security system.

For Obama, a leaf from Truman's presidency could be the answer to a way out of the Iraq war and Afghanistan. Truman pursued a strategy of rapid demobilisation after World War II.

But his obsession with containing communism caused him to reverse course and commit troops to the war in Korea. It made him one of the most unpopular Presidents in American history.

As for Obama's hopes of realising his dream of racial equality and upholding civil rights, John F Kennedy could be the inspiration. America's 35th president proposed what later became the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

And to more recent times, Bill Clinton broke a 12 year winning Republican streak when he became president in 1993 like Obama did in 2008.

Free trade agreements like NAFTA and reform of the public welfare system won him acclaim but his affair with intern Monica Lewinsky nearly got him impeached a lesson there for Obama.

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