The US President Barack Obama has completed one year in office and since his assumption of the office of Presidency on January 4, 2009 each word that came off his lips, each step he took have come under intense scrutiny from different quarters of the world. Before dissecting his scorecard for the last one year it would not be out of place to take a look at the backdrop against which he created history by becoming the President of the United States. He stepped in to shoes of a predecessor who earned a lot of ignominy by his militarist world-view and committed a series of bloomers which played havoc with the image of the United States as a war-mongering nation. On the economic scenario, the unprecedented financial crisis which engulfed the world which is still struggling and reeling under it. The social tension which has followed in form of job-loss and worse could be traced to the recklessness which characterized the Bush administration. Thus the hands of the newly elected were full. He literarily inherited throne of thorns!


The emergence of Obama in the political arena had all the elements of a drama. He was least expected to become President when the presidential race started off. Contrary to the expectations of many who thought that Hillary Clinton would emerge as the nominee of the Democratic Party, he made it a thrilling contest by ultimately edging past her to win the nomination. The rest was history. He just swept the American voters off their feet by being extremely articulate on his theme “ Vote for Change”. The American voters who were weary of George Bush's two presidential terms simply were charmed by Barack Obama's personality and shining eloquence and plumped for him to elect the 44th President of the United States of America.


On his immediate assumption of power he acted with alacrity to get down to the brass tacks of managing the wobbly US economy as well as stabilizing things politically. In doing so, he accorded greatest importance to the role of diplomacy which was given a go-by by his predecessor who was almost paranoid about finding military solutions to all global problems. While displaying remarkable restraint, President Obama has not failed in striking a firm posture in matters relating to terrorism which has turned into a global scourge! His show of firmness in reading the Riot Act to Pakistan which has been acknowledged to be the hotbed and epicenter of international terrorism. From the Indian point of view his recognition of India as natural in his fight against terrorism augurs well for us.


Despite his modest success as US President for the last one year, there are palpable signs of loss of popularity among the US voters. The results of the Massachusetts special elections which followed the death of the popular Democrat senator Edward Kennedy must be particularly galling to him as this seat has a strong and traditional base for the Democratic Party. This must be a wake-up call for him The Election of the Republican Scott Brown would be a stern blow as the Democrats have lost their majority in the 100 member Us Senate which would have significant repercussions on the proposed law to reform American health care. With 41 seats in the chamber Republicans are like to filibuster any health care legal initiatives.

The question which must be agitating our minds is whether President Barack Hussein Obama is likely to turn out to be one-term wonder like Jimmy Carter!


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