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Jeffrey Frankel: Obama 'willing to fight the fight'
Jeffrey Frankel: Obama 'willing to fight the fight'
Economist and Harvard professor, serves on the National Bureau of Economic Research's Business Cycle Dating Committee, which officially declares recessions

[Obama] took over the presidency at an extremely difficult time. To capture the state of the economy, perhaps the best metaphor is that Obama took over as a pilot of an airplane in the middle of a steep dive. In any case, given the circumstances, I think he has done amazingly well.

Washington has always been cynical about what can pass. Often, Presidents figure that special-interest groups will block sensible reforms, so why waste political capital trying? But an example, which I find extremely encouraging, is that he fought to eliminate the F-22 fighter, which is probably the most egregious example in the defense budget of spending on hugely expensive weapons systems that the Pentagon doesn't want because they are not useful for today's national security needs. To my surprise, Obama actually won on this one. He's willing to fight the fight and he has won.

NEXT: James Galbraith: Needs to get tougher on the banks

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Last updated August 06 2009: 12:32 PM ET
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