Today President Obama in 2012 and James Bond have one thing in common; pressure to live up to the hype. 2012's Skyfall appears to have satisfied the critics but will Obama?
In 2008 Obama presented himself as the man to implement change. He declared that he would not use smear tactics to win the campaign against George W Bush, he declared he would end the War on Terror, he declared he would challenge the systems and he spoke of the American exceptionalism that sets the country apart from others. His inauguration speech was filled with determination and praise of America as a nation and his final words, "let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations" inspired many.
Look at 2012 and inspiration is low. America is facing challenges to it's supremacy from rising powers such as China, the War on Terror in the Middle East is still being fought - although Obama has since stopped calling it that, relations with countries such as Iran are tenser, the economy is still a problem and Obamacare is facing huge criticism and protest. The Presidential Election was deemed one of the most bitter in American history. As a result, Obama's campaign moved away from the positive and clean tactics of 2008 and shifted gear. The result was adverts raising questions about possible tax evasion, Romney's history and the 'dangerous' policies Romney would implement. It seems as if much of what Obama stood for four years ago has fizzled out.
Or has it? Have the failures to implement radical change been the fault of Obama and has he given up on all that he stood for? It is foolish to rule him out. America is difficult to crack. It's sharp division of powers often means domestically policies are slow to implement and push through, it's vocal and impatient public are often quick to criticize and the America that Obama inherited was not in good health. Much of what Obama is trying to implement goes against deep-rooted discourse in America, combined with a divided Congress, House of Representatives and White House, Obama is severely constrained by America itself.
The next four years offer a distinct opportunity for Obama. The second administration of any President is always different to the first. This is due to the fact that the President no longer has to worry about maintaining voters to win the next election and can push forward implementing the key policies they introduced in the first administration. So far we have heard much political rhetoric from Obama but very little political action - is this set to change? Looking at the recent campaign and political rallies, Obama's resolve appears to have hardened and with four years experience of the in fighting on Capitol Hill one can assume the Obama of 2012 is yet more determined to fulfil his promises.
If you look at the administrations of George W Bush, the second administration was more moderate behind closed doors than during the first. This has been attributed to the fact that Bush recognized in his first administration that being tough on terror was a vote winner whilst in the second administration there was apparent recognition of the failures of U.S foreign policy.
Obama has the opportunity to push forward and push for change once more. What is needed is not the politely cool President from 2008 but a determined one. Bill Clinton has called Obama "cool on the outside but burning for America on the inside" but what we need to see now is that burning on the outside. The next four years could see this change. Indeed, the campaign was different so might we hope for a more active administration? America has voted, Obama's future has been decided, what America needs now is ,to quote an old American favourite, 'a little less conversation, a little more action please'
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