On the eve of his first anniversary as President of the United States, Obama was given a spoonful of bitter medicine. The election of Scott Brown as Republican Senator #41 was a clear rejection of a President and political policy agenda which were embraced with hopeful optimism a mere one year ago. This assertion is supported by the earlier gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia, the wide-spread disenchantment with health-care reform and leading polls which have Obama at the lowest approval rating of any president at this stage of his first term
Furthermore, the President will likely be stopped in his tracks for the foreseeable future. Yesterday's shocking election does not simply deprive the democrats of their essential super-majority in the Senate, but Democrats are surely losing confidence in their own security as they reflect on recent election results. The path to survival may require a show of independence, which would paralyze the hyper-partisan legislative course upon which Obama staked his success.
So, with his first year a demonstrable disappointment (a conclusion which will be mercilessly repeated during the looming State-of-the-Union Address) and nothing hopeful upon the horizon (particularly given the Democrats' prospects in the November mid-term elections), Obama might need a second glass of Champaign to wash down his year-end celebrations.