Barack Obama won the historic 2008 presidential elections on the promise of change, at a time when Americans worn down by a stinging financial crisis at home and never-ending wars abroad were hungry for relief. As the US President starts his re-election bid for the 2012 polls, that promise seems little more than a distant whiff.
That’s because change is more difficult in the real world than in Obama’s fluent rhetoric. In major areas of its political economy, the US remains as mired as it was three years ago. Military interventions abroad haven’t been easy to wind down (they have in fact increased). And in the financial sector, lessons that ought to have been learnt have instead been consigned to the margins.
Soon it will be election time in the US once more, and the promise of change, once unmet, will be unlikely to persuade the American voter again. Perhaps the President should bet on continuity instead.