Which state did Obama represent

United States

James P. Pfiffner

To person

Ph. D., born 1946; Professor at the School of Public Policy, George Mason University, 4400 University Drive - MS 3C6, Fairfax, Virginia 22030, USA.
Email: [email protected]

Despite the clear demarcation from his predecessor, there are continuities in the White House under Obama. Proof of this are his numerous special representatives, the so-called "tsars".


Change we can believe in "was the motto Barack Obama had chosen for his presidential campaign. The results of his first year in office are mixed. Although he made some important changes, his approach shows continuity with the previous administration in many policy areas. Possibly The biggest change this presidency will bring about is its choice in itself: it will go down in history as a milestone on the way to equal rights for people of all skin colors. Older Americans still remember that blacks (in some areas of the country) were not served in restaurants, were denied access to many public facilities, were banned to the back of buses and had to put up with racist remarks.

Obama's ambitions go far beyond the mere fact of being elected, however. He formulated his vision of presidential leadership when he declared his admiration for President Abraham Lincoln (without explicitly comparing himself with him). He had "a deeply rooted sincerity and empathy that enabled him to always see the point of view of the other and to try to recognize the truth that lies between his own opinion and that of the other. (...) The Most of our other great presidents had the ability to see things from all angles and to bind people to their will. FDR (Franklin D. Roosevelt) was the classic example. Lincoln succeeded in raising public opinion and the people around him to shape around, to lead and to guide, without deceiving or tyrannizing them, but (...) by helping them to see the truth. "

From this statement it becomes clear what ambitious hopes Obama has for his country and for himself. For him, it is not just about setting himself apart from his direct predecessor George W. Bush, he rather wants the USA to take a new path in foreign policy - more in harmony with other nations and less aggressively in national security policy. In addition, his goal is to implement an ambitious domestic agenda: reforming the health system, curbing greenhouse gas emissions towards greater energy independence, and transforming the American education system. The way in which he organized "his" White House, with special representatives or so-called "tsars" at key positions, clearly reflects his priorities. (The term "tsar" is an informal term used primarily by the press to refer to a White House employee selected by the President to oversee an area of ​​public policy that unites interdepartmental responsibilities are.)

This article looks at the elements of change and continuity that have characterized Obama's presidency so far. I will show that the organization of the White House developed centralistically under Obama, as was the case during previous presidencies. In addition, I will address Obama's agenda and show that he has abandoned the conventional notion of a narrow and focused worldview in favor of a broad, ambitious range of political priorities. Finally, I will take a look at his view of presidential power in the system of separation of powers and explain that, even if he is less aggressive than his immediate predecessor, he has not formally rejected the executive powers that Bush has claimed for himself .