History was made two and a half years ago that Barack Obama was elected the first African-American President of the United States. It was back then there was a sense of hope and idealism that change was going to come for the better and that Obama was going to represent that change in America.
Now, though, comes the line between cynicism and realism due to class differences and political ideologies over the future of America in the Great Recession. Since the Obama era, there have been changes: the stimulus package, the Republicans’ control of the House in last year’s mid-election, clashing with Democrats over unemployment benefits, collective bargaining, and union rights, the Tea Party, and now Obama pushing for passing of the Americans Jobs Act.
Obama, who was once compared to the Second Coming and picking up where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Poor People Campaign left off, could be considered a one-hit wonder.
Or, in this case, a one-term President, according to a recent poll from ABC News and Washington Post, where 55% voted that Obama will not get elected for a second term, which makes him the underdog, and he was fine with that when he spoke on it during his ABC/Yahoo exclusive interview with George Stephanopoulos on Monday.
“When I ran in 2008, the basic idea was that – you know, ordinary folks, who are working hard, you know, doing everything right, just weren’t getting ahead. Wages, incomes had flat-lined; costs were going up, everything from health care to college education. And – you know, the whole approach of everything I’ve tried to do over the last three years is to say, ‘What are those big changes that we have to make so that our kids are getting the best education, we’ve got the best infrastructure in the world, we’ve got the tools that allow us to succeed again?'”
If the slogan “Yes, we can” was part of Obama’s platform that got him elected to the White House, then what will his stance be for the 2012 campaign? The 44th President’s answer was just four words.
“Vision for the future. Four. There is- going to be a contest of values and – and vision in 2012. Nobody’s going to deny that we’re not where we need to be. That the economy is not producing enough jobs that pay well and give people- a leg up on life. And so the question is, ‘What’s most likely to get us there?’ Now there are going to be some folks who make the argument that if you just slash spending, eliminate regulations that prevent us from polluting our air or polluting our water or, you know, we bust labor unions, that that in and of itself is going to restore the American Dream. I don’t think most Americans believe that. I think they understand that we’ve got to invest in making sure we’ve got the best education system possible, that we’ve got to invest in basic research. That part of what made us an economic superpower was we had the best technology, the best infrastructure, and that government has some role to play in that. And so the question’s going to be- you know, which vision is more persuasive to the American people?”
The transcript of this interview can be found online at ABC News.