I am intrigued by the issues Obama is having with his stimulus package and the lack of cross party support that was highlighted this week.
The US podcast Left, Right and Center (a must listen) sheds some light on Obama’s problem. The podcast has views from 3 regulars across the political spectrum (not politicians), hence the title. Usually there is a diversion of views. This week the panel were in agreement not only on the stimulus package but more importantly what should happen before approval.
What came across was that Congress should not fast track the package through, but there should be due diligence on the monies, with the appropriate accountabilities.
This throws up a number of issues. Obama may not get his package through in the form he would like by mid-February, and it could get delayed. The panel appeared to be saying, what is the hurry. The other point made is that the bank bail out was rushed in a panic and no one knows where the money has gone.
The US and UK political cycles are not in sync; the former do not have electoral considerations, but the Republican's will do all they can to make Obama’s life difficult. This spills over to Brown’s agenda. He wants the US to pass the package quickly as Obama wants, with the spin off for the G20.
However it may not all go to plan. Brown’s strategy for the G20 and beyond are obvious. But it is dependent on a US agenda that he has no influence over. Moreover, I am not convinced that the G20 dominates US thinking as Brown hopes.
How this develops in the run up to the G20 could get very interesting. Matters may not go as Moses wants and more importantly needs for his own political ends.