Barack Obama speaks to military personnel at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas August 31, 2012.
Credits: REUTERS/Gary Cameron
When the Democratic National Convention kicks off Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C., speechwriters face the onerous task of giving value to the fool's gold of the Obama administration.
If they pull it off, they deserve a fortune.
Barack Obama makes Jimmy Carter look good.
For Americans who embraced Obama's promise of hope and change four years ago, who believed his smoothly-delivered purple prose had substance, and who revelled in the enormous pride of being the generation that finally elected the first black president of the United States, the letdown must be huge as well as extremely sad.
Obama looked too good to be true, and he was.
Facts are facts. He pledged, among a list of 500-plus promises, that by the end of his first term, he would cut in half the massive federal deficit, and do it "honestly and candidly." Fact is, the 2013 budget that Obama presented in February sees Americans wallowing in a government debt that has reached the saturation point, and wrestling with a $1.15-trillion deficit that does not even come close to achieving his promise of reducing it to $650 billion.
Instead of restoring economic vigour, the trillions in deficit spending Obama endorsed largely went to well-connected supporters -- union bosses, environmental extremists -- and drove unemployment levels to near record heights at the same time the sub-prime mortgage fiasco was exploding.
This was change, but it certainly wasn't hope.
This came, of course, from a president so confident in his naivete about cutting that deficit in half that he spoke words which will hopefully come back to haunt him in November.
"If I don't have this done in three years, then there's going to be a one-term proposition," he said.
We can only wish.
Last week in Tampa, Republican vice-president hopeful Paul Ryan told the GOP convention that Barack Obama was not a "bad person," but he is a "bad president." It was not a personal attack, just a fact.
Those aching for personal attacks will have to wait for Tuesday in Charlotte when the Democrats unleash their expected vitriol on GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
With no record to defend, they have no other choice.
They have only fool's gold to polish.