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December 26th, 2008
02:43 PM ET

Barack be good

President-elect Obama shakes hands with troops having Christmas dinner at a military base in Hawaii.

President-elect Obama shakes hands with troops having Christmas dinner at a military base in Hawaii.

Paul Krugman
The New York Times

Times have changed. In 1996, President Bill Clinton, under siege from the right, declared that “the era of big government is over.” But President-elect Barack Obama, riding a wave of revulsion over what conservatism has wrought, has said that he wants to “make government cool again.”

Before Mr. Obama can make government cool, however, he has to make it good. Indeed, he has to be a goo-goo.

Goo-goo, in case you’re wondering, is a century-old term for “good government” types, reformers opposed to corruption and patronage. Franklin Roosevelt was a goo-goo extraordinaire. He simultaneously made government much bigger and much cleaner. Mr. Obama needs to do the same thing.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Economy • Paul Krugman • Raw Politics
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Antoine P. Brunson

    Go Go Goo Goo! It's an ObamaRama!!!

    December 26, 2008 at 7:41 pm |
  2. Franky

    My boy should take the vision of Woodrow Wilson, skills of FDR and use the charismatic appearance of Andrew Jackson, combined with the personality of JFK. (like that, huh? I should charge Dems for this)...

    He's got the vision(check), he's got the skills(check), he's got the charisma(check), and last but not least, the personality(check). Use the vision for hope and tranquility, use the skills for upportunity and responsibility, use the charisma for communication and comprehension and use the personality for laughter and caring.

    But how can you have a person with these traits?? Easy..."Nearly all men can stand adversity-but if you want to test a mans character, give him power"-Abraham Lincoln

    Now let's all sit back, relax and make history the way is supposed to be...now that's confidence!!

    December 26, 2008 at 7:11 pm |
  3. Annie Kate

    As tempting as it might be to put some pork in the stimulus package, I think any at all in the bill would convince a lot of people that its just business as usual. I hope that the Obama administration will be scrupulous on keeping out the pork and putting in strict, tough accountability requirements. I'm tired of my money going down a black hole and seeing nothing in return. And I bet I'm not the only one.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    December 26, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  4. Pat Tibbs

    Appropriate: a geek who's a goo-goo. Long live Barack Obama!

    December 26, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  5. Maria

    Corruption needs disinfection and goo-goos can make it…

    December 26, 2008 at 4:38 pm |