24/06/2013 05:20 BST | Updated 23/08/2013 06:12 BST

Obama's Crisis of Trust

As the saying goes "presidential candidates campaign in poetry and if they are lucky enough to win, they govern in prose".

Presidential Candidate Barack Obama was especially good at campaigning in poetry.

It was clear that he was a natural in this role, leaving both his opponents Senator John Mc Cain and Governor Mitt Romney in the rhetorical dust.

Perhaps that is why, even though he has won re-election for a second term, he is unwilling to dismantle his campaign appartus and get into the down and dirty, nitty-gritty work of governing in hard edged well disciplined prose.

President Obama's first term was challenging since he faced a strong Republican opposition intent on stopping his agenda dead in its tracks.

Depsite the efforts of the opposition, he was able to pass a piece of hard-fought landmark legislation - Obamacare.

His second term has proved even more challenging than his first as the Republicans are keen to take full advantage of every misstep to make Obama a "lame duck" as soon as they possibly can.

Just as his predecessors have done before him, when things are not going so well at home - its time to take to the international stage to look "presidential" and refocus on the agenda.

It seems that President Obama had hoped his trip to the G8 and Germany would give him just that opportunity.

Last week he returned to Berlin's Brandenburg Gate on the eve of the 50th Anniversary of JFK's famous speech to re-capture some of the magic of his 2008 campaign.

This time the President spoke before a much smaller invited gathering.

Long gone was the 'rock star' awaiting throng of hundreds of thousands that he so easily captivated just five years ago.

Realistically, expectations were not so high this time around and this Nobel Peace Prize winner's only competition last week was not JFK or Ronald Reagan but Barack Obama himself.

President Obama has now governed for several years and the times have certainly changed.

The weight of real world problems that he has had to face may have eaten away at the idealistic hope his supporters had for him and his administration.

Optimism and idealism for "Hope and Change" seem to have given way to the hard, cold realities of the toughest job in the World.

President Obama has not only been facing a tough domestic opposition but he has also had to come face to face with the severe challenges on the international stage and they visibly taken their toll.

As Congress tries to wrap up some of its important legislation before the 4 July recess, the President and his family are headed for a week-long visit to Africa.

The Senate Immigration Reform Bill is front and center and the passage of this piece of historic legislation might need a bit of the President's encouragement. If passed this is likely to be the most important piece of legislation passed in his second term.

At the same time he could also be facing the most the challenging crisis of his Presidency.

The "Snowden Crisis" has put the Obama intelligence gathering policies in jeopardy, under the public microscope and has once again eroded the precious trust between the US Government and the American people.

How President Obama deals with this crisis of trust and how he finds his voice to regain that trust and confidence on this issue could determine his legacy.

Most US Citizens are torn. They are uncomfortable with the Government having unfettered access to their private communications. At the same time, they understand the Government must "snoop" to some extent, when legally justified, to keep them safe.

They also cannot understand how someone like Edward Snowden, an outside contractor, was given access to our top secrets and able to disclose them with such ease.

What else does he have up his sleeve?

This crisis leaves us with some very tough questions ahead:

What role does journalism play here when it comes to national security?

Is it within the Freedom of the Press to publish a story like this one, worth the price we pay in loss of security?

Is there a way for an individual to challenge government abuse or wrong doing without damaging national security?

What will the fall out be in US relations with China, Russia and the ultimate country that agrees to give Snowden asylum?

Is WikiLeaks a journalistic endeavor or an enemy of the state?

Should such sensitive work be done by independent contractors like Booz Allen or is this a job for full time government employees or members of the military who swear an oath of allegiance to uphold the US Constitution and take it seriously?

How much transparency is necessary when it comes to government intelligence programs designed to protect the "homeland"?

How much congressional and judicial oversight is enough and how much is too much?

Perhaps the toughest question - How much liberty are Americans willing to give up in the name of safety in the electronic, social media, information age?

The "Snowden Crisis" is likely to test the limits of both the President and the American people on these questions and on their desire to maintain their constitutional freedoms.

Jon-Christopher Bua's blogposts for Sky News appear here