The relentless optimism of four years ago is all but a distant memory. The wall posters proclaiming “hope” and “change” are faded. The unfettered enthusiasm that propelled a first-term senator from Illinois to the White House is missing from the husting circuit this time around.The full column will be posted once the newspaper publishes.
Americans overwhelmingly bought President Barack Obama’s brand circa 2008 for a variety of reasons. Chief among them was this very compelling notion: If a half-white, half-black guy with a funny name could be elected president then there was no reason the country couldn’t come together to achieve anything it wanted.
What a difference four years can make.
The president’s supporters accept some things just didn’t work out. Though Obama passed much of his very liberal agenda, the results have been dreadful.
Sure the long-standing liberal goal of government-run health care was finally achieved, but what has become colloquially known as Obamacare came at a high political cost.
The stimulus spent a tremendous amount of money, but the economy remains incredibly weak to the point where a great deal of young people who voted for Obama four years ago can’t put the degree they earned to work.
Independents are highly skeptical — to say the least — of Obama. At the same time, his supporters no longer speak of Obama in the transformational sense of four years ago.
Rather, all of their rhetoric is partisan. This election has become about stopping those dastardly Republicans — you know, those in the 1 percent, who are blamed for Obama’s woes despite the fact Democrats controlled both houses of Congress for the first two years of his presidency. (It isn’t the job of the opposition party to govern.)
— Dennis Lennox