Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Obama-Rama=High Expectations for New Prez

Barack Obama's presidential campaign was unlike any other. He motivated minority populations and united the young people of America. In order to attract college age voters, Obama did something no other candidate has done before: he used the Internet to reach them. He used the same social networking tools that young people use to connect with each other as a means to reach out to them. By doing so, Obama showed that he cared about what they had to say and that politics wasn't just about the big wigs on Capitol Hill. In fact, Obama gave young people unique and interesting opportunities to be involved in the political process using the social sites that have become part of their daily routine. He himself had a multimedia filled profile on MySpace, a fan page on Facebook, and a feed on Twitter (he still does).

The result of these efforts, and many others, resulted in nothing short of Obama-Rama. Clearly, his tactics worked, as Obama is now at the end of his second week as our 44th President. But, the downside to this "Rama" has already reared its ugly head. After such an impressively run campaign, expectations for our new President are exceedingly high. Critics and supporters alike are now wondering if Obama's inexperience was too much overlooked. This week's hoopla comes after two Obama cabinet appointees have asked for their nominations to be withdrawn due to tax reporting issues. All of this after Timothy Geithner's tax woes were exposed last week, though his nomination was ultimately confirmed.

In interviews, Obama openly admits that he "screwed up," with some of his nominations, and insists that he will take responsibility for his decisions. And yet, he is still facing intense scrutiny, as he should...but for me, it's a question of degree. Yes, he definitely messed up, and these recent events are likely a result of inexperience, but it could be worse. There are far worse things that could have happened to begin Obama's first term. However, because of the historical significance of Obama's election and the success of his innovative campaign, our new President is under added pressure. True, we should undoubtedly hold our President accountable, and there is no question that he should do everything in his power to fulfill his campaign promises. But, we should not be too quick to judge and say that he has already failed to live up to our expectations. It is, after all, only his second week in office in one of the most turbulent times our country has ever faced. And maybe, just maybe, our expectations have risen a little too high. The truth is, he needs our support more than ever.

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