Barack Obama has lost. Not his Presidency, yet, but the control over the Senate. What does this mean? This means that for the next two years, Obama will have a tough time trying to build his legacy, which was already in tatters. And there is nobody else to be blamed for it, but Obama himself. The celebrated President is no longer looked upon as the American saviour. Unhappy, disgruntled, frustrated and disenchanted with Obama and his misrule, the midterm elections have culminated a season of dissatisfaction for the President. The 2014 mid-term elections has thus marked a ‘red’ blot on the already tarnished legacy of Obama.
Six years back, Barack Obama had ushered into the political arena like a majestic creature. He was the reason why the 2008 American elections become an international blockbuster. He came into power with worldwide expectations, championing on hope and change. People not just in America, but worldwide applauded his arrival and accepted him with open arms. Obama was not just a popular politician in America; he was an internationally celebrated President. A Democrat President who was as popular as Bill Clinton, if not more.
But over time, he started to become a symbol of frustration. And today, the once upon a time ‘game changer’ has been relegated to a lame duck. With the Republicans gaining control over the Senate, Barack Obama will have a tough time getting any work done.
When Obama first took the reins he came with a bundle lot of expectations. He brimmed with confidence and passion. With his idealistic views and optimistic youthful vigour he promised to end wars and save and recover the world economy. Obama managed to end the war in Iraq, authorized the mission which killed Osama bin Laden, tried his best to revive the US economy, and raggedly managed to implement Obamacare. This allowed Obama to end his first term mired with both criticism and triumph. Obama got re-elected in 2012, becoming the 22nd President who got a second shot to making things right. Americans continued to believe in him, brimming with hope. They thought that this time around they will see a more active and engaged President in House. A President who chanced upon hope and change his entire Presidency career, will work harder in giving shape and direction to America and to his legacy.
But far from that, Obama’s second term has been worst than his first. Up until now his second term has only been wired with loses, marked with failures. His failure to control the Ukraine crisis, failure to recognise the threat of ISIS, his slow and tepid recognition and response to the mass threat emerging out of Ebola has projected a very restrained American role in the world. A president, who campaigned on ending foreign entanglements, saying that he has no strategy to confront the ISIL, showcases Obama’s ineptitude to handle foreign affairs. It has been nothing short of humiliating for Obama who displayed a lack of leadership and ineptitude. All this has not only resulted in the loss of Obama’s credibility, but has resulted in questions arising about United States’ stature in the international community.
President Obama is thus sitting on a pile of disasters. With six years down, and two more to go, he looks grey and tired, forlorn and weary. He has lost his credibility and no longer remains a people’s President. During the mid-term elections campaigning, many of his fellow Democrats maintained an arms distance from Obama. Barring a few campaign rallies, Obama was kept on the sidelines. The disenchantment is such that though he is the face of the Democrats, he is not the face to be associated with.
The rising unpopularity and losing control over the Senate, the fall and decline of Obama’s presidency has truly begun. Media is already scorning off him as the ‘Passé President’.
All this seems inevitable. Pinning on ‘Yes we Can’, Obama came riding on a wave of exorbitant adulation that his inaction to deliverance has come with profound disappointment.
Something, which our current Prime Minister must bear in mind.
What happened in 2008 then, in USA happened this year in India. It’s no secret that Modi was influenced a lot, actually by all, by Obama’s campaign. He used social media the same way Obama did. Modi deployed the same tactics and strategies that Obama did to win this year’s Lok Sabha election. If Obama broke the racial barriers, Modi overcame caste. Just like Obama, Modi rode the wave of change to the centre of power carrying with him his list of promises. Like Obama, Modi has projected himself as the face of BJP and under his tutelage and name, the party is enjoying victories in state elections. He continues to enjoy the affection of people and celebrities alike just like Obama did. If Obama rallied on Obamacare, Modi is rallying on Swachh Bharat. Modi pulled an Obama in India and continues to do so.
But will Modi experience the same fate, the same downfall, the same end as Obama? Premature to say. Modi has good five-long years, whereas Obama has just two more left. The golden period of Modi has just started. Whereas the dark period for Obama has set in. Modi has both time and history on his side, unlike Obama. The end of Obama’s chapter is coming to a dire end devoid of a legacy, which one had hoped from the man of hope.