Barack Obama and the Perils of Populism

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Tony Hayward spent this weekend watching his yacht race off the Isle of Wight, another black eye for the CEO of what used to be called British Petroleum. But while BP is British owned, it employs 20,000 Americans, twice its payroll in England. Some 40% of its shares are held in the United States. As President Obama and the Democrats bash BP — along with Toyota, health insurers and Wall Street, do many Americans see a threat to pensions and jobs? Do they distrust government as much as they do corporations? While Obama's populism might have short-term political value, what about the long-term? Is it time for him to cool his rhetoric or turn up the heat?




Warren Olney