tv Quadriga - The International Talk Show LINKTV January 12, 2017 7:00pm-7:31pm PST
h hello, and a very warm welcome indeed to this latest edition of "quadriga," where we focus on the handover of power at the top of american politics from the barack obama to donald trump. in recent days, the battle over barack obama has legacy has been heating up. the man who came to power eight years ago promising to bring sweeping change to the united states has this week in defending his record in an emotional address to followers in chicago. meanwhile, it looks as though donald trump is set to take a wrecking ball to most, if not all, of what obama has stood for.
is obamaion this week plus legacy. can it survive trump? -- our question this week is obama's legacy. we begin with christoph von marschall, who argues the world will very soon come to miss barack obama's thoughtful approach to politics, as he puts it. alan posener,s whose opinion is trump is obama has legacy. guest, melissa eddy, says over obama wrote history as america's first black president and even donald trump cannot change that. hisaw barack obama give farewell address this week. i wonder how much you will miss him. melissa: a lot.
it's hard to quantify. the difference is so -- when you watch obama's speech and trump has press conference, the difference in the personalities and what they stand for -- it's palpable. it is so obvious. i'm a person who cares about language, the use of language, and i have to say, there was something thrilling about having a president who could hold a speech and hold a huge crowd riveted, and the speech felt like a delivery of a message and not like a pep rally for a sporting event. peter: we know barack obama can deliver a good address, but what about his policies? is there a coherent body of achievements that can be described as obama-ism? melissa: the biggest, i would say, would be the health care policy, which republicans are intent on taking a wrecking ball two, which will be a test of where the country is at. republicans are saying they will replace it, take down or take apart obamacare, but replace it
with something better. at this point, however, they have not said what that something betttter is. everyone is still waiting, but everyone knows it is easier to tear something down than to build something up. it's really going to be a test to see what that means for beple and will people willing to give up something that for a lot of people, they have come to understand. you do not need to to anybody in germany or the rest of the world what it means to have health care, but i have a lot of friends from my generation who worked as freelancers or went from job to until obama brought in the affordable care act, also known as obamacare, they never had health insurance. ,eter: christoph von marschall you have been close to barack obama, and you say the world presidentto miss obama's thoughtful approach to
politics. what makes you so sure? christoph: as melissa said, we saw two different characters in the speech of barack obama and press conference of donald trump. he is so impulsive, reacting to everything. he seems to treatat everybody as an enemy or friend, mainly enemy. when he feels hit, he has to hit back. that's not the approach of barack obama. i generally think barack obama will be seen as a good and great president from the perspective of history, not only that he b bush, a country of deep recession where unemployment was growing with people losing the helms at a very quick pace, and today, america is in growth again. we have a very low unemploloymet rate. of course, this is not true for every region in the united states, so i i understand if the , butotest and opposition
apart from that, the health care reform, the reform of the financial system. he nominated two female supreme court justices, the first latina. he changed how the country thinks about homosexual love, gays, lesbians, and so on. he had a huge missile contract with russia to delete 1/3 of strategic missiles that i could go on and on. peter: there is a darker side to all this, though. you said at the beginning of the show, or at least i quoted you as saying that trump is obama's legacy. explain. all, if youfirst of say you are delivering change we can believe in and you do not , in spitete of what you sasaid about obamacare, in spite of the fact that, yes,
there is a certain amount of recovery, but for huge swathes of the american population, especially the white, male underclass, you are not delivering what you promised, but also not for the blacks. we have had the black lives matter show that that was not why they, and that is did not turn out for more of the same change at the election, and why they did not turn out for hillary. looking at foreign policy, america is perceived in the whole world as incredibly weak, including in europe. we are worried now about if america will defend us. putin has walked roughshod over every red line obama has drawn. obama lost the arab world in the arab rebellion, lost israel, lost turkey. i could go on and on about the decrease of america's standing in the world, and this is due to
the fact that obama was a great orator. he was a first-class intellect but second-class temperament. said -- roosevelt once a suprpreme court judge said hes a second-class intellect but first-class temperament. obama has a great intellect. he could talk the talk but could not walk the walk. after years, i think you cannot forget how tired many americans are of being the world's police, that from the public, there is a certain desire and push back. we are tired of seeing our young men battered on foreign battlefields. to what extent is that the president, and to what extent is he listening to his people yet the where the rest of the world may not like that, although we could argue -- does the world really
want the states as they world police? it goes back and forth, but i think domestically, there has been a shift, and the desire from within america to play the world police is not there the way it was before. christoph: if you are afraid of the weakness of america under obama, be more afraid under trump. i'm waiting for the moment when countries like north korea, iran , russia, are really challenging .im you can see a lot of "we will be great again," but he will not be great, and he will have no answer. alan: i'm saying trump is even , but it started, as you say, when obama started listening to americans that were convincing him america needed to leave. the idea nationbuilding begins at home, those could be trump plus words, and it's wrong. nationbuilding does n not begint
hohome. if you are the world's leading power, you have to keep on tilting nations and alliances around the world, and obama neglected that. peter: let's go back a little bit in time. i'd like to go back to 2000 eight, the early days, the campaign for the presidency, the first days in the presidency for barack obama. 2008, as i say, we did not see examples of his rhetorical capacity and great charisma. >> yes, we can. >> barack obama, america's first afro-american president. many hoped he would unite a divided nation. obama could create the p proper atmomosphere for any situation. amazing grace ♪ [applause] sweet w the sound ♪ o o oma was alslso popular
overseas, even before he was elected. he true huge crowds in berlin during a visit in july 2008. barack obama and his wife michelle made a good team and served as positive role models .or many americans it was a dignified farewell, but in the final analysis, how will history judge barack obama's legacy? peter: that's the question. is basically saying that barack obama has this huge talent -- he is still a very young man, by the way, and he do not know what he will do next -- but he has squandered his talent. i don't think so. he also had a lot of mistakes in foreign policy, and i would say his biggest was syria. jawing redlines and not doing anything when someone crosses your redlines -- that is a big mistake.
whatally, i would say barack obama leaves behind is his foreign-policy is much more mixed than domestic policy. in domestic policy, i think the state should be responsible for the well-being and social welfare of people or not, and you have a clear point, but in foreign-policy, it is much more mixed. something isot if worse in the world than before. there are a a lot of other players, and i would agree that he made mistakes, but generally, how he handled europe, how he handled china, that he also left theo europeans to do with ukraine,e, for example -- i thik that was wise and clever and good, and in a certain way, he predictable,and and that is enormously important for the security of the world
that important players are predictable and reliable. that is a change, a change i do not want to believe in. peter: how is it going to change cap the big question we're debating here and now is what happens next? what is president trump going to do? melissa: that is the question. we don't know. peter: the most powerful man on earth is about to be inaugurated into office and a couple of days and we do not know what he will do next. zerosa: he has foreign-policy track record. there were comparisons to reagan beforehand. reagan spent eight years as a governor of a state that is larger than more than half of the european union member states. he had a certain track record. trump comes in with absolutely no track record for
foreign-policy, and he is a businessman. therefore, i cannot say what he is going to do. as an american citizen, are you dismayed by this? unnerved by this? it is an unsettling scenario. unsettling, but from the german perspective, it is sometimes hard to understand what the world looks like from the midwest. when you are sitting in the middle of the united states of america, which is an enormous country, new york or washington, d.c., seems really far away, and the idea of building nationstates when you have bridges literally collapsing in your own country -- alan: that's obama, isn't it? melissa: it's not, actually. it's george bush. it's not just true we do not a what trump is going to do. we know and it is scary. he will revert to economic
nationalism. he will put america first. he will raise tariffs on imports, and he is going to, by hook or crook, create jobs. he is not going to dismantle obamacare -- well, he is going to dismantle obamacare, but more people will get health insurance because that will get him votes. he's going to do it twisting arms like he has already done with ford, with the whole american economy, putting up tariffs. it's going to be disastrous. europeans who were so against the transit and trade and investment project are going to be begging america to bring him back in. this is part of the legacy for obama. obama is trying to do something like trans atlantic trade and europeans are throwing up their hands saying it's terrible and they do not want to push back, and part of obama's legacy -- alan: is not getting that through. melissa: that's the european
legacy, quite friendly. obama was not the one putting the brakes on that. alan: yes, he was. they were perfectly legitimate european concerns about the question of how to go about if there are conflicts of interest, and americans did not budge enough. obama had for years. the second term of obama was about europe, and he did not push enough. he was too much of someone who was aloof from the process, and this has cost him friends in europe and friends in the united states. it's the opposite of what franklin roosevelt did, who went out and found allies or what he wanted to do and told people about it. this is the problem of this aloofness of barack obama. christoph: i'm concerned about something else entirely. about donald not trump. he has a clear plan. there are no dividing lines.
he will not get the money for a huge infrastructure program or to give subsidies to american firms to create jobs in the united states and abroad. that's not going to happen. what i'm really concerned about --this in predictability edictability, and we just saw it in the press conference. could you imagine we talk about a memo about president meeting with prostitutes -- peter: i want to ask my producer, could we put up pictures of that press conference that took place wednesday in new w york? the first conference president-elect trump had given in 5.5 months, six months. i just want to getet up pictures while you are talking. christopoph: i do n not know atl
if this is true or just invented by thein 5.5 months, six months. russians. in order to steer uncertainty about the value of democracy and so on, we do not know, and we should repeat and repeat that this is not sure that we do not know if it's true or not, but just imagine it could be true that members of donald trump's campaign team, during the campaign against hillary clinton met with russians in order to sabotage the u.s. election process. i mean, that would be treason if it is true. peter: do you believe that it is true? does your newspaper? christoph: we do not know at all. peter: how are you handling the allegations? christoph: we have to report to him. peter: are you reporting them
salacious leora cautiously? cautiously and also with the hint that we do not know if it's just a russian plant or if it's really true, but it just shows you what an enormous change we had in the united states going on. once we could not even imagine something like that happening under president obama. peter: there are certain things we all know about president clinton, for example. melissa: certain things we have to keep in mind, you are absolutely correct we do not know if this is true, but if we look at why its surface, trump even before he took the oath of office has been at war with secret security services. this document, according to my colleagues in washington, has been around for a while.
people, reporters have known of its existence, but nobody dared touch it because we still do not know -- we did not know and still do not know if it is true, but the moment that the security services briefed trump and obama about it, it has given legitimacy to the document, and security services would take that step also is for me personally very unnerving. it almost seems that even now within his own administration, there are terrible faultlines, and we did not see this under obama. we saw terrible faultlines between democrats and republicans in congress, but within the administration, there was cohesion, and there are already signs that will not be the case, and if the administration cannot function as a whole, i find that deeply troubling. fascinating stuff.
we saw this press conference yesterday, and for me, it was a watershed event. like you said, we do not know where trump will take the nation next. what clues did you get yesterday, what further clues? i was ini have to say, meetings all day yesterday and i have not had time to sit down and watch the press conference. i'm fascinated to know -- do we know what will happen next? i want to know more. think trumpaid, i thinks you c can do politics lie you can do business. we know from silvio berlusconi in italy, the idea that a businessman knows how to do politics better is stupid. business is i make the decisions, you do it, and so on, but the point is given the angst , to use a german word, going around in washington among congresspeople, the kind of
wheeling, dealing, arm-twisting trump is so good at in business might work for 102 years and politics. after that, he's going to run into a whole bunch of rick balls. you might just see a trump recovery happening under the .ugury of economic nationalism i think that is what is going to happen. it was all about men he had appointed to do this, to do that, and he will get these people in a room together and do deals, and i think the terrible thing is it's going to work for one or two years, and we are going to see the dawn arising. we will see jobs being created. we will see people saying, "you see?" even in the german media, the far right is rallying to trump.
we can only hope he runs up against a wall before europe starts doing the same thing. peter: when you talk about the german media, i just want to bring the debate closer to germany and bring in some images we have of the last meeting -- i think it was the last meeting between chancellor merkel and president obama -- there you go -- at the g7 summit in bavaria last summer. folklore stick -- folkloristic seems almost. there's that famous shot with error sitting out in the meadow -- there you go. i would just like to ask forstoph, as annex non-foreign policy, what you anticipate the first time and donald trump come face-to-face. christoph: they will try to get along with each other. peter: pragmatism? christoph: yes, pragmatism but
also responsibility. our security depends on it. all the terrorist thrhreats in germany, if we have somebody who really gives of important hints, it is mainly the americans. president-elect trump has been showing abject disrespect to nato, for example. christoph: but the german approach will be that we tried to get our arms around him, to pull him in and are defending how he should treat nato, why nato still matters to us. i am more concerned the trump presidency will be derailed by foreign chalallengers and by -- because he is so combative. politicalo have coalition building in order to act.
common thing that normally when people are running for office, they tell you what they want to do, and they get into office, and you think they will try to push their program through, but they will be derailed the cuss so many things happened from the outside which they cannot control. president trump from the beginning will look somehow week or not sure about what is going on. the north koreans will challenge him. iranians will challenge him. russians will challenge him, and andas all the time to react push his programs through. that is a huge risk. i do not wish that for the united states or us because we will feel the consequences as a. i do not wish his presidency will be derailed, but i'm afraid the risk is very high that it happens. peter: 30 seconds, your opinion
on these matters? melissa: i agree. merkelou think angela will talk some sense into donald trump? melissa: she will try. even when she and obama first met, they were like oil and merkel will talk some sense into donald trump? water, and eventually, they came around and found a way towards each other. some of that was obama approaching her, but i think trump will also try to make a deal with merkel. peter: will the obama legacy survive trump, yes or no? christoph: most of it. melissa: i agree that, yes, what he represented and stood 44 generation will pull through. -- stood for for a generation will pull through. alan: no, we are facing bad times. peter: on that note, thanks very much for joining us. if you have enjoyed the show as
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