The unveiling of Barack Obama in 2004 was a milestone. A gifted orator; he carried a resume that boasted credits for time spent as a community organizer, and a stint as a constitutional professor. He shed bad press with a smile, and grinned a slogan of ‘Yes we can’ as if he lived next door to all of us.
A nation, tired from fighting and foreclosures, injected that IV of hope as fast as it could.
And, he had a plan.
The lowly and sick, the uninsured masses would be re-born as equals in this corrupt, intolerant society. The penalty for white, privileged America would be to pay a little bit more so that others could get their fair share.
It was rockstar stuff. A majority of Americans went wild. But there was more.
He was lucky, too.
New groups sprang up around the Nation; “Tea (Taxed Enough Already) Party” folks so angry at George Bush for the bailouts, and quite suspicious of this man with the shovel ready plan that there was now a new target of blame for when things went wrong. With cries of ‘Woman’s rights, Tea Party racist’, he rammed thru his Affordable Care Act (with the help of Senate sleight of hand), and then found it upheld by a Supreme Court unwilling to shake his charisma.
Yet his followers never seem to notice: Where was he?
True: He made an appearance with a Governor that had political ambitions of his own, following a horrible storm which devastated the east coast. He lit a holiday tree, took long healthy walks on golf courses and even found time to raise money for his loyalists.
But: Where was he?
Leaning on the news for intel, he unknowingly saddled them with his burden of detachment. And liberal commentators unwittingly stumbled upon it: One in particular claiming that the dreadful, hated Tea Party were now suddenly citizens that had a right to a voice, too. Others began to question why he hadn’t shown up at a border crisis, and further yet a poll stated American felt he was the worst President since WWII.
He was, in fact, where he always had been:
Removed from his beloved commune of States that had believed he was the ‘neighbor next door’ from the beginning.
His predecessor oversaw a horrific attack on a nation, a questionable war for historians to debate for decades, and an aids relief program in South Sudan that far exceeded anyones expectations.
But, he has no such history for the academic author’s to write. From continually voting absent as a young state senator, to a 3 am phone call unanswered, to relying on tv network coverage of national and world events happening in real time all around him; his distance from the people he was elected to serve becomes much of his legacy.
He is nearing the end of his borrowed time.
Time, history will document, he was never really there…