'a New York Times poll found 79% think Barack Obama will improve the nation – a level of support that is higher than for any incoming president in 3 decades'.Cynics might say that this optimism partly reflects disaffection with the current President George Bush. Maybe true and, in any event, optimism can feed disappointment. It is wonderful news that a black man is entering the White House but we should not assume that a public works program will resolve America's intractable soccial and economic problems:
Ten trillion dollars have evaporated in the greatest stock market crash since the 1930s. Twenty million Americans face negative equity, 30 million Americans are in poverty, 40 million have no health insurance. The numbers just keep piling up.....Americans must be realistic and demand only the possible. Obama has already begun the difficult task of trying to hose down expectations.
And so, pretty soon, we will all probably start to complain that Obama is a man of straw, a media creation, a triumph of style over substance; more a celebrity than a politician - a "polebrity" to use the latest ugly neologism.