Journalist David Sanger to speak about reality of Obama’s 1st year |

Journalist David Sanger to speak about reality of Obama’s 1st year

Zach Fridell

David Sanger

Barack Obama has been president for one year, five months and 17 days.

In that time, The New York Times chief Washington correspondent David Sanger said, he has confronted a difficult world, and rifts have developed between the promises of the campaign and the reality of governance.

Sanger will be the first speaker this year in the Seminars at Steamboat series and will speak at 5 p.m. Thursday at Strings Music Pavilion. He said he isn't looking to judge the president's successes as much as looking at where the country stands now, especially in terms of international relationships.

"When you are a year and a half into a presidency, any presidency, you're at that point where people can begin to understand the inevitable gaps that happen in any presidency between the high expectations of when one came in and the issues that came along," Sanger said.

He said Obama's style of sitting down to talk with leaders of other countries hasn't been as fruitful as was hoped.

"Iran and North Korea haven't engaged back, which is part of the frustration he's dealing with now as he's having an era of tougher sanctions and so forth," Sanger said.

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The seminar will consist of a presentation of about 35 minutes followed by questions from the audience. Sanger said he hopes to include relevant updates from breaking news, including an update about Obama's planned meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about Israeli/Palestinian relations.

"Certainly, there have been some surprises nobody could have anticipated," Sanger said. "The president, I don't think was planning on having to deal with an oil spill at this stage, so one of the interesting questions I'll probably take a look at is what we've learned about the president's flexibility in handling the unexpected."

Sanger said he also hopes to set the groundwork for future seminars, including Joseph Nye's Aug. 12 talk, Smart Power: America's Global Position. Sanger said Nye, an internationally renowned public policy theorist, was a mentor to him.

The seminar is free, but donations are accepted.

Summer seminars

■ July 22: Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve Board: Can We Make the Government and the Economy Work for Us?

■ Aug. 5: Paul Peterson, professor of government at Harvard University and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University: Saving the American School

■ Aug. 12: Joseph Nye, professor of international relations and former dean of the Kennedy School at Harvard University: Smart Power — America’s Global Position

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