"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." ~Senator Barack Obama, Feb. 5, 2008 (following Super Tuesday).
I spent last night listening to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony at the Hollywood Bowl with some friends and family, all hopelessly liberal. Conversation drifted towards politics, and frustration with politics, and annoyance with this Tea Party thing, fear of Congresswoman Bachman and Governor Perry, and disenchantment with Barack Obama. There was frustration at his foreign policy, his weakness in the debt debate, and many other domestic policies of his. One in the party said something I found to be very telling, and very important, when asked if the president might yet still improve. "I don't know. I don't think he really believes what he campaigned on. I think we may have been tricked." That is, even in Hollywood are former admirers of President Obama beginning to think that he may just be a normal politician more interested in reelection and legacy than anything else. Telling.
On a related note, I stumbled across an old JibJab video
with a comic President Bush reviewing the year 2005. Among the problems that Bush sings about are terrorists, Kim Jong-Il throwing fits, pirates in Somalia, a nutjob in Iran, problems in the Gaza Strip, a rising deficit, low approval ratings in the United States, low approval ratings in Europe, high gas prices, scandals with allies in Congress, scandals in the White House, Gitmo, and economic woes. Last time, Barack Obama campaigned on change-- leaving the woes and actions of the Bush Administration. Though all signs indicate that he plans to still run as a Washington-outsider, man of the people, hope and change type, that is going to be a lot harder to do. That's the problem when you try to portray yourself as a radical harbinger of change in a wonderfully divided constitutional republic. Like McCain was to many conservatives in 2008, Obama will be to many liberals in 2012-- the least undesirable candidate. Having only won the popular vote by ten million votes in 2008, with all the hype surrounding him, this should worry the president-- whose victories in North Carolina, Indiana, Nebraska, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania were narrow enough that a drop in enthusiasm among activists from "the change we've been waiting for" to "we may have been tricked" could dramatically alter the electoral map in 2012. This is the GOP's race to lose.
(Another interesting addendum-- in conversation of potential GOP candidates, there seemed to be some admiration of Chris Christie. While none would vote for him, they were drawn to his personality and how unlike a usual politician he is. This could be good