One of Barack Obama’s nicknames in his first term was “No Drama Obama.” The candidate and President was noted early on for his disdain for the backstabbing, and open competitiveness and surprises lurking around every corner that plagued both the Clinton and Bush White houses.
Welcome to the beginning of the second term.
Barack Obama won his second term in an electoral landslide. Although, not without some erosion of his No-Drama Obama moniker.
The first term produced an infinitesimal number of political drama defining moments for Obama.
It’s probably a good thing since Obama has several outside influences to deal with from the beginning.
One of the first was the country’s embarrassment of its President being called a liar during the State of the Union address by Congressman Joe Wilson of South Carolina.
Could you imagine such indignity in the British Parliament?
Even the media principally ignored the unprecedented nature of the outburst.
He endured unprecedented and constant barrages of insults no other President has ever faced in the history of the Republic.
Tea party racial codes such as “We want our country back,” “Food Stamp President”, Socialist, and Kenyan became the standard dialogue when discussing his policies or positions on issues that had previously been viewed as populist.
Also unprecedented was his wife Michelle being criticized early on and even booed in parts of the South and his most important first term accomplishment (the elimination of Osama Bin Laden) was met with partisan disapproval and denial.
It became obvious that Washington, already dysfunctional, had reached a new all-time low in doing the work of the American people.
The Republicans may have miscalculated the national mood assuming that the majority of Americans would ignore the obvious.
Tax cuts for the wealthy, but elimination of unemployment benefits, Letting General Motors die and destroying unions, Criticize the President for not bringing back the economy in four years despite the fact that it took eight to get it in its underperforming position.
The Republicans realize that memories are short and most Americans do not follow politics every day.
Most don’t remember that President George W. Bush actually turned over the control of the White house early to the incoming Obama administration early so that they could tackle the critical issues associated with the depression potential financial crisis.
People were losing their homes and job and their 401K’s and hopes for the future.
Although the economy is still not operating on all cylinders President Obama won reelection because the average American felt that despite race, biases and the knowledge that the job market was not the best there was still a sense that The best was yet to come.
They also did not feel that Mitt Romney was the answer.
Already in the second term, Obama has had to deal with the Benghazi incident which caused him to lose his preferred nominee for Secretary of State (Susan Rice).
Hillary Clinton’s health issues and the new Secretary of State nominee John Kerry also represent problems and opportunities.
But most pressing is the immediacy of averting the fiscal cliff which extended so close to the deadline that it produced more ‘Drama.’
Reports have surfaced that an agreement has been reached avoiding a potential disaster but essentially kicking the can down the congressional chambers.
2013 will undoubtedly surprise even the most astute political prognosticators, but for Obama it can only be more drama.