“In this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people” – Barack Obama, speaking to the gathering hundreds of thousands during his victory speech in Grant Park, Illinois. Not even the harsh winter climate of Chicago could dampen the joy felt during that wet, windy November night back in 2008.
The euphoria of victory, the optimism of the future and the downright relief at the removal of the previous administration was so strong that it reverberated across the world. Two years on, has Barack Hussein Obama, who this week announced a first Presidential trip to Ireland, lived up to the expectation of 250 million plus Americans?
Impossible, would be the answer.
When he took his place in the White House on January 20th, President Obama immediately took ownership of the multiple problems which had been created by the vacating George W. Bush. Crumbling banking institutions, the beginning of the now disastrous recession, rocketing unemployment figures and worse still, the two ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Two years later, the banks have been cleaned to a certain extent, the recession is hopefully over and employment figures rose for the first time last month by almost 200,000. Although the situation in the Middle East is still ongoing, the President has delivered on his campaign promise, to withdraw troops.
So delivering on his promises and being preceded by the worst President in modern times, surely Obama has the adulation of all Americans, irrespective of political backgrounds?
Unfortunately for the rest of the world the answer to that also is, impossible.
Why, well because lest we not forget, we are talking about a country of people who not only elected George W. Bush instead of the much more competent Al Gore in 2000, but who also re-elected the man again in 2004 after his embarrassing first term as the most powerful man in the world.
He has seen his approval ratings fall from a record 70 percent to below 50 percent in recent months. Generally it is not a good indicator for a second term to be below 50 percent, he is already facing a battle for the 2012 election. Incredibly enough, Bush at his peak had a mind boggling 90 percent approval rating of his fellow countrymen.
What possibly is causing this dramatic fall in approval at only two years in?
Unfortunately for the 44th President, the people that he has upset the most are the elite, white majority, conservative section of society. Damn him to hell for wanting to provide health care to the people, who are quite literally dying on the street because they cannot afford to see a doctor.
Impeach him, for wanting to provide education to those who cannot afford the average $45,000 per year fees for third level education. It is fine to improve the health care system, his opponents say, as long as it does not affect my (insert ridiculous amount of money here) per year salary.
And so the forces conspire behind the scenes to discredit everything the President may say or do. The most popular man in American media is Glenn Beck, so popular that he has millions now begging him to run for election in 2012. This man has the power of influence and persuasion on the most watched news channel in America, Fox News.
"This president has exposed himself, I think, as a guy, over and over and over again, who has a deep-seated hatred for white people, or white culture." He then contradicts himself, while supporting his claim, by stating, "I'm not saying that he doesn’t like white people. I'm saying he has a problem. He has a, this guy is, I believe, a racist." Glenn Beck speaking on his nationally broadcast evening news show.
When asked about the will of the elite to sabotage Obama, Montana student Carley-Swan Roberts (23), says, “Yes of course. People are trying to sabotage him in every way possible. Example; his birth certificate, religion and his contacts with Al-Qaeda. The Republican Party is strongly against him and will try anything to force him out.”
The man who claims heritage in Moneygall, Co. Offaly certainly has a tough two years ahead if he is to convince the American public that he is deserving of a second term. One of those standing in his way amazingly enough is going to be Donald Trump, who this week announced he is to run for office.
Hopefully he can ride the storm over the next two years while the country grows financially stronger to gain a second term, the American people and certainly the wider world cannot afford a return to the policies of the previous administration.
Can he win again, well for the sensible, peace loving people of the world we certainly hope that, Yes He Can.