Will Trump forgive Trudeau for mocking him?

Share Macron's fate - Obama, Blair and Trudeau - The fallen hopefuls

Tony Blair can still do it. Or has just enough time passed - and he can do it again?

If the British political pensioner faces a young audience these days, he is the Elder Statesman in the best sense of the word: The former prime minister gets back into the ring to fight against Brexit. He, who was scolded for participating in the Iraq war and ridiculed as “Bush's poodle” when he stepped down in 2007, is once again considered a serious voice who wants to save Britain from the worst.

This roller coaster ride in the public eye is not unusual for politicians who started out as great hopes and at some point disappointed their audience - be it because of concrete mistakes, or because of exaggerated expectations.

Blair, that is almost forgotten today, started in the mid-1990s as an innovator who wanted to reconcile capital and labor with “New Labor”. His compatriots enthusiastically applauded him when he said to them: “I did not go into politics to change the Labor Party. I went into politics to change the country. "

Instead of the internal reforms, the images of the battlefields in Iraq are remembered. Today, however, Blair's commitment to a future-oriented Great Britain in the EU is more important again for many - which is greater than ever in the present.

Barack Obama also experienced the burden of high-flying expectations

Justin Trudeau is one of the ranks of young super talents who have got into severe turbulence. The Canadian Prime Minister, who promotes a modern, diverse North America, is denigrated by the neighboring Prime Minister Donald Trump as a political lightweight. The downright overwhelming economic superiority of the USA leaves the Canadian little choice but to get involved in the renegotiation of the North American free trade zone NAFTA - a humiliation that the political opponent at home does not forgive him, but rather interprets it with relish as Trudeau's own weakness. The outcome of the trial of strength is open. So does Trudeau’s political fate.

Barack Obama experienced not least how difficult it is to start with high-flying expectations. When the then senator stepped onto the stage at the Berlin Victory Column in Berlin in the summer of 2008, his hearts flew to him. 200,000 people wanted to be as close as possible to this young man who was so confident.

The crash followed two years after the soaring

The enthusiasm that was felt in Berlin at the time was certainly not shared across America. But even in his home country, the first black presidential candidate fascinated voters across all parties with his rhetorical talent. Many longed for a way out of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, for the financial markets to calm down, for the deep rifts that divide America to be overcome.

The soaring was followed by the crash after just two years, when the Republicans forced Obama into hand-to-hand combat and presented themselves as clean men of fiscal policy. Today, under a Republican president, they no longer want to hear about the zero-debt course. But at that time it seemed an effective means of making it more difficult for the reformer to govern. The Republicans' blockade policy left Obama little choice but to work with executive decrees instead of negotiating workable compromises. From then on, Obama stuck the label “not assertive” on.

Awareness of Obama's difficult starting position is growing

Today, however, the 44th President appears in a completely different light. Above all, there is growing awareness of his difficult starting position: Obama had to clean up after the devastating financial and economic crisis of 2008. Its reform programs first had to slim down when investment banks like Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns collapsed, and General Motors and Chrysler went bankrupt. When Obama introduced the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act” in February 2009, many people took their breath away at the sums of money. But in the midst of the rapid crash, the government managed to reverse the thrust - and at the end of Obama's tenure, the United States made a remarkable comeback.

Obama's message gains new weight in the Trump era

Sure: The wounds of the crisis are still visible today. Thousands of Americans lost their pension rights, their savings, their health insurance, their homes. But in the second year with Donald Trump, even former critics look back with a milder look at the eight years in which America was conducted with a sense of proportion: "Obama's election was historic because the conflicts between the ethnic groups were finally considered to be resolved," says Devin Stewart . The senior political scientist at New York's Carnegie Council points to decisions that are only slowly taking their full effect. Despite all the criticism in detail, the reform of the health care system is considered a historic milestone, the tightened financial supervision is proving to be a blessing, dealing with same-sex partnerships is easing, and many African Americans have felt free of nightmares since the Obama era.

In the Trump era in particular, Obama's central message is gaining new weight: The American dream is open to everyone in this country. At least he should.

By Stefan Koch / RND