Living Up To Impossible Expectations

Watching coverage of the up coming inauguration of Barack Obama makes me realize that no US president has ever had to live up to the expectations placed on Barack Obama. A poll released ahead of Obama’s swearing in showed that nearly 80% of Americans believe he will make the country ‘s economy better within his term. I think America is in for a rude awaking. While the US may ride high on the Obama feel good train for a few weeks or even a few months, the reality is the US is still in the worst economic tailspin since the great depression. There is no way Mr. Obama is going to live up to the expectations placed on him. It’s impossible, no one can live up to this kind of hype.

The incoming President is about to take one of the biggest economic gambles in history. He is inheriting a trillion dollar deficit and he’s going to spend another trillion or so more to prime the economic pump to get America spending again. Spending money you don’t have to project an image that things are going well is nothing new. People do it all time. And we know where those people ultimately end up.


America is in debt to the tune of almost $10 trillion. It’s very possible that number will become $14 trillion after Obama’s first term. I find that extremely scary but hey, 80% of Americans believe in this guy and hope goes a long way, even in the face of stalk reality.

Tomorrow will be a historic day. The swearing in of the first black President of the United State. It’s a day that I thought would never happen. For one great day, my friends in the US can forget the fact that they voted for George Bush twice and look forward to not having to make their mortgage payments or put gas in their cars. Well, at least that’s what this proud US citizen is expecting.

76 thoughts on “Living Up To Impossible Expectations”

  1. Studenomics says:

    After watching that video all I can say is that wow people are in for a shock! The state of the U.S economy is in such turmoil these days that no one man can fix it all. Really I don’t understand how people feel that one man will be able to fix this giant problem. I’m sure he will make some slow and steady positive improvements but come on let’s be realistic he will be the saviour everyone is expecting him to be. What does a black president have to do with black people not making their mortgage payments… oh boy…

    1. I agree but I disagree – I think that it will be a slow process, but he will eventually get the job done. The USA did come from a good economic position before after all – it’s not like they were always in debt!!

      The country can definitely get back on its feet, as there will always be people that will default on their mortgages, regardless of the situation

      1. Atniz says:

        Right now, there is no choice other than listening to his word. The power is in his hand. Let us see whether he deliver what ever he promises.

        1. It took Bush 8 years to ruin the US economy, wont Obama require atleast 2 years to mend it?

          1. Mark says:

            Yep, your right George Bush ruined the economy all by himself. He also made you write this stupid comment.

          2. Lizwi says:

            Obama needs double the time taken by Bush, that is 16 years+

      2. BrandC says:

        in nomine patri et fili spiritus sancti

    2. I think that’s just being pretty negative. You’re basically saying that it’s not possible to fix the current situation at all.

  2. Kesi Garcia says:

    I agree. Thanks for post that many will consider unpopular!

    1. max says:

      Well, I do agree there’s a deficit and it will be hard to fix but Obama is right for the job.

      And “The swearing in of the first black President of the United State.” is not correct, that’s a racial prejudice.

      The correct statement should be “The swearing in of the first half white/half black President of the United State.”

      The use of “black” has been too widely misunderstood by the people and that is the big media’s fault for making people think Tiger Woods is black. Tiger Woods might be half black at most but he’s also half Thai.

      Let’s stop this prejudice first Mr. Chow. 🙂

      1. Rachel says:

        There’s nothing prejudice about it. Most bi-racial people that include any African descent label themselves as just black.

        Go read up on it.

        1. max says:

          That’s exactly what I mean Rachel, you’ve been “trained” automatically by the media to be prejudice. (You don’t even know it, that’s the problem)

          To call a half white/black person a black person isn’t right.

          To call them a white person isn’t right.

          This is a racist remark btw:

          “Most bi-racial people that include any African descent label themselves as just black.”

          it would work as long as you can say this too:

          “Most bi-racial people that include any White descent label themselves as just white.”

          “Most bi-racial people that include any Asian descent label themselves as just asian.”

          See something is wrong here?

          You go read up on it. :p

          1. It has nothing to do with the media. Anyone who believes whatever they say is obviously an idiot.

            Obama says that he is a BLACK man. I always wonder why when someone like him refers to themself as black, some people always have a problem with it.

  3. Jamie Harrop says:

    Just like one man can’t do life long damage (waves to Bush), one man can’t make a life long fix.

    I’m sure the US will be better off four years from now under the leadership of Obama than they would be under the leadership of Bush, and I’m sure the hope from the worlds people due to the history of this inauguration will play a major factor in that position, but the US will still have a suffering economy well after Obama’s first term, in my opinion.

    There are going to be many advantages to Obama been in office over the next four years, including increased tourism for the US as its image improves, but it’s only going to make a small dent in what is a massive problem.

    I have no doubt that America will once again rise from economic blunder, as will the UK and the rest of the western world, but it’s going to take a lot more than four years, one man and hope.


    1. I agree! Ditto comment (Just lazy to re write the comment.. but anyways.. I meant the same thing lol)

  4. Barock says:

    let’s we see what does obama going to do after the inauguration, all of people in the world put their hope to him,,

  5. Obama is one person in a necessary group of global individuals that will have to convene and delegate certain changes before the economy begins to move. Its not really the last administrations fault for ALL the mistakes. The economy is cyclical and Bush got caught at the wrong time on the cycle. Hopefully Obama will help, but for those that expect change to happen overnight, good luck.

    This is a great moment in history, and perhaps of better and bigger changes to come within the United States. This nation has been through harder times when even basic food could not be bought from which levels the nation came together and prospered. I’m sure the crisis of people unable to afford LCD’s and McMansions will force change in habits and thinking of the citizens. Its not all going to be Obama, the people will need to change too.

  6. sdogood says:

    Gird your loins. Obama may be the first president that lives up to his pre-election persona. I was surprised that America would elect someone who was unabashedly liberal. Now that he’s in (as of tomorrow anyways) one could only expect that he’ll follow through on the execution of broad liberal reforms. And in case you haven’t been paying attention for the past seventy years, liberal reform is not so much a reform of a bloated government as it is a reform of the businesses and lives of it’s citizenry. I sincerely wish Obama all the wisdom and success in his appointed duties, but I do not expect much change (in the US economy). While government is a prodigious consumer of a countries resources, a nations economy can not be sustained on government consumption (bailouts, tax rebates, govt research, and social programs) alone. So this means, that to the extent the government consumes someone or some entity has to lose. President-elect Obama has made no bones about who the loser should be, big business.

  7. Jason says:

    You’re right, a lot of people think Obama is going to wave a wand and magically make everything better. Unfortunately, many people who vote are uneducated. They don’t understand politics or economics.

    However, this whole thing about the economy being the worst since the Great Depression is media hype…it’s news. Sure, there are some big issues with the economy, but I’d much rather be in our situation than some others in the past.

    Recessions are natural – people need to understand that.

    1. People know that the economy is going to be fixed overnight. America didn’t lose some of it’s common sense with the money. It’s very broad generalization to think these people don’t know anything about politics and I’ve very against generalization. I think people are just happy to know that the nation is now lead by Obama instead of McCain or Bush. There’s no magic button and the nation knows that.

      1. Jason says:

        You’re wrong. A large portion of the population doesn’t know that. A lot of people really do think the Obama is going to fix things in a matter of weeks. This is not my opinion – it is fact. Watch a few videos of people being interviewed about their expectations. Go talk to people in the streets.

        In fact, I was at the airport the other day and overheard a guy talking to his client about how Obama is going to fix everything. He had this guy believing that he would be able to sell all of his real estate property once Obama took office.

        I’m not saying everyone in the country doesn’t understand politics and economics, but the majority doesn’t. They are either uneducated, too busy to stay on top of it all, or just don’t care. You’d be amazed at how many people don’t even know where the politicians stand on issues. They vote based on what they hear from family and friends, which is a lot of BS in most cases.

        Sometimes, they’ll watch the news and hear some ridiculous crap from the media about how so and so is a bad person. Instead of doing the research and finding out the truth, they just take what they are told and run with it – like sheep.

      2. I agree with you, Robert.

        I’m getting so sick of some people acting like all Obama supporters think that he’s going to fix everything overnight. Obviously, it doesn’t work like that.

  8. SEO Tips says:

    This is very excited I am not sure how its going to go down but I totally agree.

  9. Brendan says:

    The woman did not say she thinks she will “not have to make mortgage payments or put gas in her car just because Obama is the new president.

    She said she hopes she willnot have to “worry” about making mortgage payments or putting gas in their cars. Meaning she hopes obama will help her find a job, and make more money, and generally improve the economy.

  10. The Net Fool says:

    It’s Barack’s own fault. Honestly, there is a reason that he has such a high expectation… it’s because HE CREATED IT! Wake up gentlemen.

    One of the biggest reasons that Barack Obama won election was because he hyped up his ideas so much, but few people realized that all of his ideas involved massive spending plans that were completely out of control. We are going to have to spend ourselves out at this point, and the U.S. is going to be in the biggest hole ever under Obama. The fact that he is now trying to reduce expectations saying things like “we are going to be in a recession for awhile” is ridiculous when a few months ago he was claiming that he could end it all with his miracle dream plan.

    We deserve to fail astronomically for trusting in this pie in the sky mentality, thanks for the post John.

    1. I think it’s way too soon to be sitting there, acting like Obama is going to be a terrible President. He hasn’t even been President for a month & people are going off on him. He can’t fix things overnight.

  11. Melissa says:

    We have to remember that Obama isn’t the Wizard of Oz. He has many people to go through before any of his initiatives take root. He’s not a “one man band” and he can’t make our problems all go away.

    We can’t pin our hopes on him; that would be foolish. We can, however, rally behind the man and support him.

    I hope he does a good job. I believe he’s up for the challenge. He’s academic enough to help our financial crisis. Overseas….well, I guess only time will tell.

    1. sdogood says:

      I used to live across the street from a economics professor from a prestigious public university. I say I used to live across the street from him because he moved when the bank foreclosed on his house. By the way, no he did not lose his job. He just didn’t managed his money properly. I wouldn’t put too much stock in the academics fixing our nations problems.

    2. I hope Obama’s term in office is an utter failure, at least as far as his ultra liberal ideas go. I don’t want them to succeed. There is no way government can spend trillions and not tax the hell out of people, and tax the hell out of businesses, businesses that provide people jobs.

      Government does not produce anything by taking money from someone and paying someone else to build a road, or a bridge, or whatever else. You can’t borrow or steal money that you don’t really have in the first place and then expect that to stimulate anything but the people’s ire.

      I for one will not rally behind such nonsense. That’s like cheering on the captain of the Titanic when he’s got the ship heading straight for an iceberg.

  12. I agree with this post. But then again you never know. I too have hopes that he can really deliver what he has promised.

  13. Robb Sutton says:

    I hope he does a good job…just as I do any President…

    But you are right…one man cannot live up to the expectations that he set for himself in his campaign. Even in his acceptance speech, he started backing out of many of his comments during the campaign stating that this won’t get fixed right away and it would probably take more than one term.

    I do hope Obama does not try to stick it to big business and increase their taxes. As any economist knows…that increased cost just gets passed down to the consumers. We need to create jobs by lower taxes on companies that create jobs…not tax them and cripple their cash flow.

    Oh well…how are you going to spend your $500? That worked so well last time…

  14. Mike says:

    The economy is going to bounce back as it always does and unfortunately Obama is going to get credit for it because he is the one in office.

    However I suspect it will take longer than it should due to all the socialist policies that are planned and inevitably will be put into place in the name of “fixing” the economy. Much the same way FDR prolonged the the depression with his socialist policies.

    Buckle up folks it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

  15. Reyn Aria says:

    US economy is far too bad for him to fix in just one term. But I believe he can really be ‘the change’ that everyone has been waiting for.

  16. let’s we see what does obama going to do after the inauguration, all of people in the world put their hope to him,

  17. Allan Ward says:

    As an Australian I’ve been watching the US elections with great interest. It was time for a change and Obama seemed to be the best option.

    He’s got four years to bring change, and it’s highly likely the economic situation will be much improved by the end of the four years. Rightly or wrongly, he’ll receive much of the credit for the improvement (or blame for any downturn).

    What he does seem to bring to the US is a feeling of optimism – you can feel it in the interviews with people. There seems to be a feeling that things are going to get better – confidence in his abilities.

    He’ll be judged by history like everyone else. Hopefully he’s judged favourably.

  18. Foru20 says:

    Call me crazy, but this looks like another un-labeled guest post.

    It just doesn’t sound the way John normally writes.

  19. I am afraid when he will not be as per the expectation. Encouraging speech on election rally to build the confidence is different things and to perform practically is different issue.

    I do want to see a one night magic … I just want to see changes it can be slow or may be very slow but it should be at there … so that people wont loose the hope.

  20. This mess is so entrenched into our country and the rest of the world for that matter, no one really knows what will happen or how fast. Far too many people look for the quick fix, the fast solution to their problems, instead of taking responsibility for their own actions.

    The President is just a scapegoat for all of our issues. Until we can all realize how we contribute to gross negligence and ignore the things that don’t involve us personally, we’re doomed.

    And don’t think I’m being pessimistic, just honest 🙂

  21. Dalirin says:

    All this agents of disbelief. You guys are the people that make america’s economy bad. If people are scared, then blogs and newspapers are saying the economy is bad, that will make people to be more scared.

  22. I hope Obama will inspire people to stop worrying about paying the mortgage and start blogging so they can start paying the mortgage worry-free.

  23. game-girl says:

    Whatever the future period will be one might believe and hope that will be the best times.To be optimistic is good for health.Some time will pass and everyone will forget about the crises.

  24. I don’t know why people call Obama the first black president. He’s not black. He’s half-black, half-white. He’s the first mulatto president.

  25. mecozz says:

    today, i hope i can met obama

  26. Atniz says:

    Obama must be having great people around him to help him overcome this great deficits. I hope he can do t hat in another 4 years time.

  27. J says:

    all talk, and all bull, he has no experience what so ever and all he is doing is trying to hype everything up, he had a free win election

  28. J.D. Meier says:

    Granted it’s a tall order to fill, but I think he very much helped set the expectations.

    I think that goes a long way. Drive or be driven.

  29. cheese says:

    No need to be jealous john chow, just admit that Obama made more money than you, online.

    1. Ha ha ha, that was hilarious, but seriously, John has a point. He is stating the fact that is there which is -There’s a huge task ahead for Obama, no kidding. If he succeeds, he will be a legend, but again like he said – HOPE can be very powerful. With the hope of 80% of 300 million people behind him, ANYTHING can happen!

  30. uwak says:

    big burden……..need working veru hard and……….be optimism

  31. Nobody that matters anymore really cares that he is “Black”, that train of though is not a part of “our”(internet/YouTube/Blog/etc.) generation, that is mainly BS media garbage so they can have something to talk about, If color really mattered he wouldn’t be our president-elect.

    If this was 1960 or something then sure, but its damn near 2010 skin color/nationality means nothing, he can screw up just as bad as any other guy.

    That said I hope he does well us “black folk” are counting on him…. 😛

    1. max says:

      “its damn near 2010 skin color/nationality means nothing”

      that said, us “asian folk” are counting on him too. 🙂

    2. Hmmm, tha’ts why I know Obama will do well. Not only are the “black”, “Asian” folks counting on him, everyone seems to be too too. No doubt, he will do well. Let’s all support him. That’s the least we can do.

  32. Hey John…you’re right the country is in a tons of debt and on the verge of bankruptcy.

    If the USA was a company, I would never invest in it or buy it’s stock.

    Unfortunately, both parties seem to be favoring more government spending, borrowing, etc which is exactly what got us into this mess.

    Not sure if you are familiar with Ron Paul but he seems to be one of the few in Washington with some wisdom on this subject:

  33. max says:

    The question is, “who else can do better than Obama”?

    McCain and Palin?

    Come on, Palin spends 150K on her clothing, politics isn’t really priority for her.

    Look at the amount of support that Obama gets, THAT’s what’s important, that people are following the leader.

    When you have that much support, you can do anything.

    Just tell me the last time Washington D.C was filled with tons of people on every street, every roof, etc…etc…

    This guy’s got the support, something no other Presidents ever had, maybe not even Lincoln.

    1. That’s a good point, Max. Who else can do better than Obama, indeed… let them stand up so we can see them!

  34. No one person can make everyone happy. And Obama has a lot of undoing to do. However I believe he will do more for the US then possibly any past president ever has. It should not be thought that he didn’t do a certain thing but look at the whole picture of everything he will do.

  35. Rick Vaughn says:

    It’s going to hard to do all the things he is promising. However, no one knows what the future holds. Obviously, it’s going to take time. The is where real LEADERSHIP is shown when the chips are down. Let’s hope we elected the right guy!

  36. uwan says:

    just wait and give time for obama to work hard for better future………

  37. Joe Hunley says:

    It will be a rough road for Obama, as well as the people of this Nation. With no doubt, the promise of Change has given many Americans “Hope” for a better economy and lifestyle. One must remember that the President is not the only voice of this Nation, He and the rest of the governing body must work together, or there will be little change, and the change that does occur will not be swift. The burden placed on Obama is enormous, and hopefully the people are willing to wait for this “Change for the Better” if indeed it does come.

  38. I eagerly await Obama’s failure, and I will laugh at all the idiots who think the government can buy them a house and the economy will be saved.

    If there ever was any doubt, our election of Obama proves that Americans are among the stupidest people on earth.

    1. Chef Patrick says:

      Why would you ever hope for someone to fail? That is just idiotic to wish failure on anyone.

    2. Wow, David… isn’t that a little too harsh, 🙂 ?

  39. make150aday says:

    at least Isarelis pulled out of Gaza…

  40. make150aday says:

    Had a great pleasure to talk to him today. he was my mentor during Harvard days.
    We used to hang out a lot at the square.
    He told me not to worry too much about the current financial situation, because these days many people are into blogging and making 1000s of $$$ a month if not in a day.

    And there are lots of mentors/gurus that can help you achieve that goal.

    So there is no need to worry about the economy .

    1. “He was my mentor during Harvard days. We used to hang out a lot at the square.” oh… really? That’s a good one.

  41. Chef Patrick says:

    He gives us HOPE, something that is really needed today. Will he change things in a day, a month, a year, definitely a no. Just knowing that change is coming will keep a lot of people moving forward.

  42. H. says:

    Only time will tell if Obama can live up to all these expectations. But for now I am really glad he’s here and can’t wait to see how things are going to (hopefully, rapidly) change.

    So yeah, let’s “hope” with Obama, but not too blindly.

  43. christopher says:

    Hopefully Obama will be a president of his word.

  44. I thought the EXACT same thing while watching the ceremonies on Tuesday. He’s got a lot of work ahead of him. I’m hoping the momentum will help carry him through and mask some of the mistakes he’s guaranteed to make. More than any other president, at least in recent history, he’s got huge shoes to fill and expectations to live up to.

  45. You are right, John. It’s looking very impossible to turn things around, especially very difficult for just one man – Obama – to do that. But like you also said “America is in debt to the tune of almost $10 trillion. It’s very possible that number will become $14 trillion after Obama’s first term. I find that extremely scary but hey, 80% of Americans believe in this guy and hope goes a long way, even in the face of stalk reality.” Hope can move mountains, John… even a mountain as big as America’s economic woes 🙂

  46. let’s we see what does obama going to do after the inauguration, all of people in the world put their hope to him,,

  47. game-girl says:

    I think that Obama will justify the hopes of the world!

  48. contentpig says:

    I think Obama will do just fine. He has only been in office a few days and he has already ended torturing and signed a bill to close gitmo within a year,

  49. LayupDrill says:

    Very interesting takes on this topic. I think Obama is in a no-win situation sadly. He walks into the job with a plate full of issues that would take most Presidents two terms to attempt to clear up, and thats hoping that nothing else is added on his plate. I just hope that both Democrats and Republicans work together and remember the people who are truly suffering are counting on them to help this country.

  50. 100wordrants says:

    Barack Obama IS our president. All feelings aside, we need to trust in his decision making and pray he helps this country out of her trenches. All politicians make big promises, sometimes falling short of reality. Let’s hope this time is different.

    And to all who dislike Bush, I would like to add that the Dems have been running the senate for 2 years now. Thanks Dems for providing great mortgage opportunities to people who cang afford them. Thanks to Clinton, the housing market is in shambles, thus putting the economy in a tailspin.

  51. I think “hope” and “belief” can be pretty powerful thing. There is no harm in this and who knows maybe Obama can really pull it off. He does remind me about Kennedy.

    Peter Lee

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