In June of 2008 Barack Obama hinted that we had the opportunity to vote not simply for a President, but for a Messiah:
…We will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth.
It took a year, but Evan Thomas was to join the Obama-as-God theme:
“I mean in a way Obama’s standing above the country, above – above the world, he’s sort of God.”
The media continued to perpetuate the theme through ethereal images of a higher being:
And the execrably obsequious
Obama was so convinced of his omniscience that he boldly predicted he would turn the country’s woes around in three years.
“If I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.”
One of the most profound observations of the decade has come from Jim Geraghty:
All statements from Barack Obama come with an expiration date. All of them.
Obama does not disappoint, and the false god is knocked from his celestial perch.
In an interview with 60 minutes Obama does his best to disabuse us of his promises:
STEVE KROFT: Do you think that you might have the unemployment rate down to 8 percent by the time the election rolls around?
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I think it’s possible. But…I’m not in the job of prognosticating on the economy. I’m in the job of putting in place the tools that allow the economy to thrive and Americans to succeed. Sometimes when I’m talking to my team, I- describe us…as…I’m the captain and they’re the crew on a ship, going through really bad storms. And no matter how well we’re steering the ship, if the boat’s rocking back and forth and people are getting sick and…they’re being buffeted by the winds and the rain and…at a certain point– if you’re asking, “Are you enjoying the ride right now?” Folks are going to say, “No.” And are they going to say, “Do you think the captain’s good—doing a good job?” People are going say, “You know what? A good captain would have had us in some smooth waters and sunny skies, at this point.” And I don’t control the weather. What I can control are the policies we’re putting in place to make a difference in people’s lives.
STEVE KROFT: Did you overpromise? Did you underestimate how difficult this was going to be?
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I didn’t overpromise. And I didn’t– underestimate how tough this was going to be. I always believed that this was a long-term project…And– you know, for individual Americans, who are struggling right now, they have every reason to be impatient. Reversing structural problems in our economy that have been building up for two decades, that was going to take time. It was going to take more than a year. It was going to take more than two years. It was going to take more than one term. Probably takes more than one president.
“I’m not in the job of prognosticating on the economy.”
“I didn’t overpromise.”
“I always believed that this was a long-term project”
“It was going to take more than one term.”
This time, I believe we ought to hold Barack Obama to his word.
His original word, that is.