Fletcher in the News

Anti-Incumbency Mattered in Europe, But May Not in 2012 US Election: Prof. Michael Klein

Political upheaval across Europe holds lessons — and warnings — for both political parties as Americans head to the polls in November.

There is also the question of what that political shift might mean for the U.S. economy, as it continues to play the starring role in the presidential campaign.

In France, sitting President Nicolas Sarkozy was ousted Sunday in favor of a Socialist Party candidate who railed against austerity measures meant to bring the nation’s finances in order. At the same time, the two leading Greek parties that hammered out a cut-heavy bailout agreement with the International Monetary Fund were punished at the polls, garnering less than a third of the parliamentary vote as citizens threw their support behind parties that opposed the arrangement. [...]

[...] At the same time, Michael Klein, a professor of international economic affairs at The Fletcher School at Tufts University and a nonresident scholar at the Brookings Institution, suggested that while that mood might have helped defeat European leaders, President Obama might not face the same headwinds.

“It’s not like he was pushing austerity policies in the United States. He was doing just the opposite,” Klein said.

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