Barack Obama was swept to power in 2008 by believers who saw him as a mix of JFK and FDR, "riding to the nation's rescue," says Fouad Ajami in The Wall Street Journal. But now, just two years later, the "magic" is gone, and Obama is being forced to keep a low profile in the midterm elections for fear of damaging the electoral prospects of his fellow Democrats. Truly, his "fall from political grace has been as swift as his rise." The promise that Obama's presidency would herald change now looks to go unfulfilled. The American people, it turns out, have no appetite for a "super-regulated command economy" and the redistribution of the nation's wealth. The false hope of the president's "New New Deal" is waning as fast as his popularity ratings. Here's an excerpt:
The American people are in open rebellion against an economic strategy of public debt, higher taxes, and unending deficits. We're not all Keynesians, it turns out. The panic that propelled Mr. Obama to the presidency has waned. There is deep concern, to be sure. But the Obama strategy has lost the consent of the governed.
...There is little evidence that the Obama presidency could yet find new vindication, another lease on life. Mr. Obama will mark time, but henceforth he will not define the national agenda. He will not be the repository of its hopes and sentiments. The ambition that his would be a "transformational" presidency — he rightly described Reagan's stewardship in these terms — is for naught.