- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy
I’m not surprised by conservative Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer’s negative comments about President Obama in an interview with Der Spiegel, but what’s his problem with Brazil?
Krauthammer: He is a man of perpetual promise. There used to be a cruel joke that said Brazil is the country of the future, and always will be; Obama is the Brazil of today’s politicians. He has obviously achieved nothing. And in the American context, to be the hero of five Norwegian leftists, is not exactly politically positive.
Brazil has "obviously achieved nothing"? The country has pulled off a veritable economic miracle in recent years, maintaining impressive growth rates and accumulating enough cash reserves to become a net creditor, all while expanding social programs. It’s weathered the global economic downturn surprisingly well and along with East Asia, seems to be leading the pack in recovery. It’s a global leader in investment in alternative energy. President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his foreign minsiter Ceslo Amorim have become ubiquitous and influential participants at global summits — and as my boss recently argued, have shown the Latin American left an alternative to Hugo Chavez’s confrontational populism. Brazil recently beat the U.S. for the right to host the 2016 Olympics. (Krauthammer may remember that one.)
I’d say calling someone the "Brazil of politicians" should be a compliment.