What a difference 12 months makes.
This time last year many Americans were shoulder deep in Obama-mania and loving every minute of it. Things have certainly changed now. While President Barack Obama still has a loyal following, his poll numbers have slipped slightly and many of his early supporters are becoming a bit unsure of their level of commitment.
These supporters are torn because they like Obama and genuinely feel he’s capable of doing a great job, but they also haven’t seen enough progress. They’re hesitant to say they want more and they’re not willing to detail the positive things he has done. So, they’re kind of like a surfer: waiting for the next big wave so they can then jump on board and surf off into the sunset.
My advice? Speak your mind and freely voice your opinion, but also get active.
Now that the Obama honeymoon period is over, many “Obama-nites” have forgotten what it took to elect Obama into office – it took us, the American people. Over the past year we have rested on our laurels, lost our fighting spirit, and have chosen to be silent when we should have been loudly proclaiming our views. In short, we’ve become complacent…already.
President Obama is an awesome man, with the ability to effectively lead this country and restore our global position and perception. However, in all of Obama’s greatness, he’s still only one man. He cannot fight alone.
During his State of the Union address on Wednesday, Obama accepted responsibility, (not blame) for failure to deliver on some of the promises he made when he was first elected. He was also firm in his belief that his priorities are consistent with those of the nation’s people.
While such acknowledgements are steps in the right direction, Obama and his team have to find a way to not only reengage his pool of supporters, but also members of the Democratic Party. Months ago the Democratic Party lost its spark – that spark needs to be reignited and a radiant and bold flame needs to appear.
A definite sign that Obama is serious about change came earlier this week when the president brought former campaign manager David Plouffe back on his team. During the 2008 presidential campaign Plouffe was instrumental in initiating Internet-driven and grassroots efforts. In his current role with the White House he will help implement new strategies and tactics that many analysts believe will revive the Democratic Party.
In Obama’s effort to deliver on his promise of change, it’s important that he go back to the basis of his campaign and stick to his guns regarding future plans for the country. Becoming something that he isn’t will prove disingenuous. Returning to the proposals that landed him in office will be Obama’s best move yet.
While being politically correct is a great thing, it can also land you into trouble. The president has to be more assertive with what he wants and what he expects. He came across strong during the State of the Union and he’s got to continue in that fashion. The American people and Democrats are looking for strong, bold leadership. Strength and boldness are what Obama projected on the campaign trail, and those two characteristics are what will continue to sustain him throughout his presidency.
I attended a conference last week in North Carolina where Rev. Jesse Jackson was one of the guest speakers. One aspect of his speech that really resonated with me was when he said “We have never lost a battle that we fought.”
Some critics of Obama have already counted him out, but I haven’t. Collectively we have to fight harder…when we do, the victory will be ours once again.