Whether Obama has turned out to be a weak and ineffective President is a proposition we can debate, but not on the basis of yesterday's elections. True, the President will no longer dominate the domestic political agenda. On that question, the elections leave no room for doubt. At home, Obama is indeed a lame duck.
A year later and the black flags of the Islamic State (formerly ISIS), currently fluttering across lands from from northern Syria to the Iraqi province of Diyala north-east of Baghdad, have once again pushed the noxious issue of intervention to the forefront of the US foreign policy debate - a discourse that is further dividing an already fractured Republican Party, with the question of action versus non-action likely to run all the way to the 2016 election.
Diverse issues like instability in the Middle East, the financial crisis and climate change, all bear the footprint of the US. It is therefore incontrovertible that if we, here in the UK, wish to genuinely affect such issues, it is in our vital strategic interest to cement the 'special relationship.'
How can President Obama make good on his campaign promises to strengthen the welfare state, invest in America's crumbling infrastructure and preserve American leadership in world affairs - all in a period of sluggish growth and continued economic uncertainty? The president will have the first of two important opportunities to provide some answers at his inauguration this Sunday.
According to UK defence and security experts, president Obama's Afghan and counter-terrorism policies are broadly on the right track, while popular perceptions of US decline, diminishing European importance and Chinese supremacy are overstated. However, the Obama administration is also seen as having failed to improve US foreign relations in most key areas, particular with regards to Russia and the Middle East.