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Where Roosevelt was stern with the plutocrats, Obama just wants them to like him

This time three years ago, two months after the 2008 election and a month before his inauguration, so many of us had high hopes for Barack Obama. Pundits proclaimed him a transformational president, a new Franklin Delano Roosevelt, coming to power in time of crisis to remake his country. No such luck. Today, even his acolytes are disappointed.

To some extent, this is unfair. Barack Obama has had to deal with calamities left him…

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