NYT's Krugman Throws Love Fest for Obama

Obama more "consequential" than Clinton OR Reagan

The New York Times' Paul Krugman threw an all-out love fest for President Obama on ABC's This Week on the heels of an article he penned for Rolling Stone entitled "In Defense of Obama."

Krugman gladly agreed with ABC's Jonathan Karl who said, "You're offering the most full-throated defense of Obama from basically anybody who's not on the Obama payroll right now."

Although he says at first he thought people were being naive to think Obama would transform America, he now believes that he not only did, but he has done it in a way that neither Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan could have ever dreamed.

Because of Obama, Krugman said:

By God, we got health reform. We got a significant financial reform. We are getting the environmental action -- it's not everything you would have wanted, but it's more than anyone else has done for decades. 

Krugman was not ready to put Obama in the "FDR" category -- "FDR is in a different league," he said -- but he easily outranks Reagan:

In the end, Reagan did not leave the structure of American society particularly different. He did not, in fact, change the basic legacy of Lyndon Johnson and FDR. 

Here is how Krugman ranks the most "consequential" presidents in modern history: FDR, LBJ, Obama, and then Reagan.

Krugman said he is "allergic" to the critiques against Obama's leadership qualities and feels the president is "more professorial" than he and his academic friends. He explains:

Look at what he did. Bill Clinton is an incredibly gifted politician. Bill Clinton is in a room and it doesn't matter how many are in the room you think he's talking to you. But in fact, Bill Clinton was not a consequential president and Obama, although clearly not the natural politician, he is a consequential president. 

On national security, Krugman doesn't rank Obama very high as a president but said, "I don't think you can call him a terrible one either." He added, "He hasn't done anything really stupid and that is a big improvement over his predecessor, right?"

Krugman explains his Obama ranking system: "Health care is a huge achievement, financial reform is a much bigger thing than people think, environmental policy -- there's some good stuff that is not getting enough credit, economy could have been worse."

Krugman humorlessly proclaimed, "Not everything is wonderful, but some big achievements and no really huge disasters."

In a final comparison to Clinton, Krugman said unlike his democratic predecessor, "Obama really has left the world -- has left America a different place."