Supporters of Barack Obama, who acknowledge Obama’s deception of naivte on crucial issues, nonetheless defend him because he is part of a “new generation.” Obama is like Kennedy, we are told, and so will learn on the job, leading to a fundamentally better American policy.
Now, Kennedy was preceded by Eisenhower (who continued the Cold War), and was followed by Johnson (who continued the Cold War), so I am not entirely sure what these people are talking about. Still, it’s enlightening to see other leaders who have been hopefully compared to Kennedy.
Hu [Jintao, èƒ¡é”¦æ¶›] is at the forefront of a new generation of Chinese leaders. There is almost a determination among China’s well-wishers to find in him the sort of freshness and dynamism still associated with the coming of John F. Kennedy to the American presidency in 1961. The analogy is not completely fanciful. With Hu, as with Kennedy, teh torch is has been passed from an older generation to a younger one. Born in 1942, Hu grew up after the communists came to power. He is the first Chinese leader of whom this can be said. He was already being groomed for the top job when in his forties, and came to the Chinese presidency with a reputation as someone, somewhat like Kennedy, who was highly articulate, able to listen to advice, and keen to gather intelligent people around him.
A bit later, the book compares Hu Jintao instead to Peter Stolypin, who shared Hu’s basic political beliefs and existed in a similar politico-economics environment. Unsurprisingly, the comparison to Stolypin holds up better.
So instead of comparigon Obama to Kennedy because both are young, who is it better to compare Obama too? Who shares his basic politico-economic beliefs, and lived in a similar politico-economic environment?