Obama cannot succeed

France
January 17, 2009 6:25pm CST
at fulfilling everyone's expectations. I get the impression that nearly every American who voted for Obama, and every non-American who would have if they could have, has enormous and perhaps unrealistic expectations for him. His is perhaps the most famous and eagerly anticipated Presidential administration, and he the most widely adored President-elect of all time. Yet he's already being painted as a failure by many and he hasn't even taken office! Will people forgive him his failures initially or will his supporters rapidly turn on him and blame him for not being able to instantly transform the entire world into a better place? What do you expect Obama to achieve during the first 100 days?
2 people like this
10 responses
• Philippines
20 Jan 09
I don't expect much from President Obama in the first 4 years. I look at him more as a symbol. As far as I am concerned, the first 4 years will be a period of getting to know you (him, the American people and the people of the world), of testing the waters, skirting boundaries, making breakthroughs, then pulling back, etc. I will expect him to have one foot on the accelerator, another on the brakes. But I eagerly look forward to hearing his much vaunted eloquence and expect him to use the Presidency as a bully pulpit, but as an eloquent bully at that. If what he can deliver is moral leadership, and he just let the various government departments run themselves on inertia, for me that is enough for the first 4 years. Exception should be taken, and I think he should intervene, in such government programs as will do harm to women and minorities. Though I don't expect him to have much impact in the labor market, I intensely wish he would focus on job creation, as well as in saving the housing industry because it's a big engine of the US economy, a vast employer in addition to providing shelter to the population. In other words, I will give him the benefit of the doubt in the first 4 years, considering who he is, who the American people are, and what he and the American people are up against and intend to achieve.
1 person likes this
@grammasnook (1877)
• United States
18 Jan 09
I don't think the Obama supporters are expecting any miracles from him. What they are expecting from him is to have the economy grow a little bit and towards the right direction for success. If one person can make 10 people believe things are going to be okay it would become contageous "taking out the fear factor". If we all are so scared of change then what happens is everything becomes stagnant which would include the exonomy, growth, our lives. You do not have to put your faith into a man that you do not know. The faith should be put into yourself as a human. For many years we have had "CROOKS" stealing from many people it was the reverse Robin Hood. Stealing from the poor to give to the rich. Prime example would be sub prime mortgages. So many misinformed and naive people were taken for a ride. Is it all the fault of the companies no, people have to be responsible as well, but do not think that typical person knew the economy would come to such a hault. I was one of the persons that took advantage of a refi on my home from a sub lender I had to get enough money out to bury two loved ones, I had a 2 year arm. In July of 2007 I was able to get into a great fixed rate, I refinanced a year before and house prices where still pretty high. Now I sit here in fear of losing my home, I had an accident that put me out of work and now as of Friday my husband has been laid off with not much relief in site. When I orginally bought my house I put money down and did it the right way it was the need of 2 refi's over the last 15 years that my house went up in debt. Oh and when I refinanced I still had 40 thousand in equity in my home. Now I am upside down on my loan in the tune of 60 thousand. My values dropped by 100 thousand since July of 2007. Many people now are in going into foreclosure not because of the housing bubble but because of the loss of jobs. The second waive is hitting but it is all home owners and not just sub prime. I expect for Obama to come with plans that will help the regular Joe to eat and have a roof over their head. I expect for him to investigate corrupt practices of all parties. I expect for him to put a freeze on any raises within the government. I expect for him to begin his plans to create new jobs. I expect for him to do his hardest and to be open minded to different people that have wonderful idea's to help us get our country up and running again. I expect for him to do the best he can do! I expect for him to tell us the truth no matter how hard it may be to hear.
1 person likes this
• France
20 Jan 09
You're right that the one thing that CAN change overnight, at least in theory, is public attitude - the fear factor. And this is potentially something that the inauguration could influence. Whether blind optimism through hope can carry enough momentum to actually change the downward fall of the economy remains to be seen. I'm terribly sorry to hear of the personal troubles you write about. Sounds like you're right in the middle of it. I hope 2009 brings the things you need to stabilize and get back on top. Good luck and thanks for the comment.
@Arkie69 (2156)
• United States
18 Jan 09
Personally I don't think this flock of idiots we have in Washington right now will let Obama do anything worthwhile. If he doesn't fall in line pretty quick and do what they want he will be shut out like carter was. Some of the old heads have been in Washington so long they think they own it.Don't get me wrong. I don't care for Obama because I don't think he is the man we need in office right now. However neither was McCain. I really hope Obama doesn't do a lot of what he said he would. Especially raising taxes on the rich. If he does they will either have him killed like they did JFK or disgraced like they did Nixon. Art
• France
19 Jan 09
I think you make an important point - Obama, even if you think highly of him, is at best a very strong link in a rather weak chain of politicians, lobbyists, and corporate big wigs, ALL of whom we must realy on to develop policies and make his "change" rhetoric a reality. This dampens the abilities of anyone in his position. THanks for the comment.
@Arkie69 (2156)
• United States
20 Jan 09
Obama has another huge problem also. People have raised the bar so high for him no matter how hard he tries he will fail to measure up in their eyes and they will turn on him. I don't care for Obama but I feel sorry for him. He is beat before he even starts. Art
@joniebee (182)
18 Jan 09
I do think no matter how good a president Obama is that he will never be able to live up to the standards that people expect him to perform at,Because of the nature of his campaign and victory over McCain,And the undeniable fact that he was going to be the first ever black president.I think a vast amount of people voted for Obama because of the history it would cause rather than his policies,And some people might be in for a shock when the man they have voted into office comes out with a policy that they strongly oppose.One thing that is on Obama's side though is the fact that he is following George W Bush into the white house,And he will be quietly smiling to himself,Thinking well i can't be any worse than that moron.So my prediction is that he will not live up to the standards people expect but he will certainly be much better than Bush.
• France
20 Jan 09
Let's hope he "can't be any worse than that moron" as you put it. I hope your prediction is accurate.
• United States
18 Jan 09
Better than Bush
• France
20 Jan 09
Depends on whose Bush ..
@us2owls (1681)
• United States
18 Jan 09
I did not vote for Obama. I was not impressed with John McCain either but it was mainly Obamas choice of a vice-president that finally decided me. I will not paint the man a failure ubtil he has truly failed. He certainly has a big job ahead of him. What a lot of people don't realize is that the President doesn't run the country on his own. Everything that is finally signed into law goes through the House (Congress) and the Senate. Once they have voted oc a bill and it has been passed then it is up to the President to either sign it or veto it. If he vetoes it then the Congress and Senate can vote to override the veto and make it law anyway. I am just waiting to see what happens after Tuesday. We have to give the man a chance to see what he is going to do. I am tired of people saying he is so popular because he is black. Barack Obama is not black - he is mixed race but first and foremost that man is like the rest of us. He is HUMAN.
@tigertang (1750)
• Singapore
18 Jan 09
Hey, I think you struck one of the most important point here. In the American system, the President is not as powerful as we think he or she is. President's need to work with both the House of Representatives and the Senate. And even if the House and Senate give the President a blank cheque, things need to goto the Supreme Court to see if the Bills are constitutional. Bush could only do what he did because both the legislature and the judiciary pretty much gave him everything he wanted, which as events have proven - was quite bad. If you look at American history, Presidents are most effective when they have to work with Congress under a different party or a Supreme Court that's hostile. FDR for example had a Supreme Court that struck down many of the things he did. In recent years we had the Clinton Presidency, which became most effective when the President had a hostile congress. Barak Obama is widely popular but his effectiveness as a President will be tested by how well he works with the other branches of government. Another point we need to look at is the fact that for most Americans, politics is local rather than federal. What a City Mayor does is often more important than a state governor or even the President. Look at the Daley's in Chicago - the man does not want higher office because he realises he can do more as Mayor of the city. What we should therefore hope for is for a host of governors and mayors who, like the President-Elect are willing to try and get things moving. I think the immense popularity of Barak Obama will work against him if he does not manage expectations. When I talk to Americans it sounds like they expect him to cure everything overnight, which won't happen. As things stand, he will need to manage expectations of what he can and cannot do - he's bound to disappoint. However, if you look at the efficiency of his transition team and they way he's looking to build a competent team, the signs are promising that he will at least give the appearance of trying to make America work for Americans.
• China
20 Jan 09
I do not know whether Obama ca nbecome a copetent president,but he has created a history of the United States:the first black president,let us with an enthusiastic mind watching him and bless him.
• United States
18 Jan 09
I myself did vote for Obama and am glad he won. But, just like every president before him he has made a lot of promisies that he may not keep nor get around to keeping. When he gets into the office on Jan 20 he is already going to have a lot on his plate. Not only is he going to have to deal with the mess that Bush left behind but he is also going to have to deal with all the new arrising problems. I am not going to blame him if he cannot fullfill all of his promises. He is only human and he is going to do his best at doing and trying to get as much as he can done during his presidency. The first 100 days that he is in office I am going to expect him to clean up the mess that was left behind from Bush.
• United States
18 Jan 09
Obama can hadnle it. or at least i hope he can
@jonesy123 (3950)
• United States
18 Jan 09
He ran on the message of hope and change. He didn't specify what that exactly means. Everybody has a different perspective on what hope and change should entail. Of course people will be disappointed. This has all been completely blown out of proportion with people totally believing that come Wednesday, when Obama gets down to business, the economy will be a-okay again... at the very latest within the next couple of weeks or months (again depending on individual expectations). Yes, people will initially make excuses. Such are those who say that people shouldn't criticize the man who hasn't even taken office yet... didn't he already make plenty of political decisions and lay out a stimulus plan and such... we are not allowed to comment on that???? Oh, right, he can't officially act yet, so we can't officially say yet whether or not something is bound to fail... Just another excuse. The excuses will come.. bad economy, Bush's fault.... we can come up with plenty. But eventually the novelty will wear off, the hype will dissipate, people will return to their normal business, and they will start to watch what's actually being done... and at that point we'll see whether people will see an improvement for themselves or the fact that Obama is just that, another politician we can criticize for the actions he took... then people will start bashing him just like they did his predecessors... such is the right of free speech... of course, if he does deliver, fantastic! He'll hear the laudate... but I'm not holding my breath;)