Saturday 24 February 2018

Obama finds out just how long a year is in politics

London's wax museum Madam Tussaud's this week added a new figure of US first lady Michelle Obama to the display featuring President Barack Obama
London's wax museum Madam Tussaud's this week added a new figure of US first lady Michelle Obama to the display featuring President Barack Obama

Tim Reid

WHEN Barack Obama took the oath of office before a shimmering wave of humanity a year ago today with his approval rating at 70pc, he and the Democrats controlling Congress believed that history beckoned -- and that they had the clout and popular support to shape it.

Yesterday the president and his party were scrambling to avoid losing Teddy Kennedy's Massachusetts Senate seat -- an unthinkable development even a month ago -- and were bracing themselves for a bloodbath in congressional elections this November. It shows just what a debilitating first year they have suffered, and what a perilous 2010 beckons.

On that freezing but sparkling January morning 12 months ago, Mr Obama promised to usher in a new era of bipartisanship in Washington and to remake the American economy and the country's social contract with a wealth of historic legislation that a Democratic-controlled Capitol Hill would send to his desk.

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