A quick trip down memory lane on my own blog took me to a post from 31 October 2008. Like many across the globe, I was eagerly awaiting the inevitable; an Obama presidency. At the time, it seemed Obama was almost certainly destined for the White House and even the right-leaning respected British weekly The Economist magazine wholeheartedly endorsed Obama. The world was excited by the endless possibilities that this change was about to bring.
Four years later, the picture is quite different. For President Obama, it has been a long, winding and very bumpy road. He has waged a battle to put the US economy on the road to recovery. He has also managed to push through his vision of health-care reform despite loud criticism. In addition, he has had to contend with seemingly deluded individuals who firmly believe he was not born in the US. Equally disturbing are those convinced that the writing is all over the wall to indicate that President Obama is a secret muslim. Unfortunately, President Obama has also continued to be entangled in foreign wars started by his predecessor.
Perhaps expectations were just a little too high and maybe some promises have been broken or even revised but the contrast between now and 2008 is striking. Four years ago, my Facebook timeline was literally bombarded and filled with enthusiastic pro-Obama messages. To be fair, Hurricane Sandy has been responsible for muting some of the usual US Election fever pitch coming from my eastern seaboard friends but apathy is still very much undeniably in the air. After all, Obama finds himself neck and neck with the King of Countless Recent Gaffes. Speaking of Governor Mitt Romney, I was particularly saddened to see the latest cover of The Economist four years on. What was even more disconcerting was the note accompanying their "American endorsement" on their Tumblr page:
The Economist: "Our American endorsement: America could do better than Barack Obama; sadly, Mitt Romney does not fit the bill."
The reality is that the outcome of the US election would have very little bearing on my life personally. In fact, this year marks a whole decade since I left the US somewhat permanently. Despite this, I do hope President Obama wins a second term. His energy and dedication to the mandate he has been given still inspires hope for me. He gets my endorsement. My completely meaningless stamp of approval.