Monday, November 2, 2009
Yes We Might? One Year After Election, Obama Finds Change Not So Easy
The tale of the turbulent year since Barack Obama's historic election win is told by his evolving political theme: once he promised "Change We Can Believe In" and now he warns that "change is hard".
On November 4, 2008, Obama bathed in the adoration of a crowd of tens of thousands in a Chicago park, after beating Republican John McCain to the presidency in an election that promised to reshape his nation.
They chanted "Yes we can" on that clear hope-filled night in Obama's hometown, and tears streamed down thousands of cheeks as the president-elect proclaimed America was still a place where anything was possible.
"It's been a long time coming," Obama said. "But tonight, because of what we did on this date, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America."
A year on, the historic promise of America's first black president is being tested by the grim grind of governing a divided nation humbled by the worst recession in decades.
Abroad, Obama's policy of engaging US foes has so far yielded few breakthroughs, and the president who came to power vowing to end one war, in Iraq, must now decide whether to escalate another -- in Afghanistan.
Obama is battered, his political magnetism is dimmed and he stands accused by opponents of masterminding a disastrous government expansion.
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