1932 it ain’t

Despite the rhetoric on both sides, this election isn’t "historic" either, in the sense that it presented the American people with some kind of monumental choice between presidents who would have had vastly different policies, and would have made vastly different decisions. Let’s be clear here: whoever walks into the White House on inauguration day has limited choices, narrow possibilities, and almost no room for manoeuvre. There is no budget surplus to play with, no "peace dividend" to be had from cutting military spending. The economic and financial conundrums facing the next administration are so complex as to defy simple ideology. It doesn’t matter whether the next president is Left or Right, Democratic or Republican: he still has to make sure that banks continue to lend money, the housing market continues to function, Afghanistan and Iraq do not deteriorate into chaos. I have absolutely no doubt that President McCain would have made many of the same decisions about many of these issues as will President Obama.