Op-Ed: In December Barack Obama won a second term in office. It was not a landslide victory nor a smooth ride along the election trail. There were times when the GOP, with Mitt Romney at the helm, looked as if they would steer to victory. In the end that was not the case.
Romney gaffed on more than one occasion but which politician does not sometimes? Perhaps the Republican Party which only threw their weight behind him when all else failed, let him done.
As he tried to show a focused political front, others were keen to dwell on abortion, contraception, birthing issues of Obama and more. In doing so they ended the campaign as a rather rag taggle mob that did not make it to office.
Confidence was in part shown in the GOP though as they retained overall leadership of the House of Representatives.
That is now in the past and President Obama is due to officially take on the presidential role for a second term. Sunday he took the oath, the date being a legal requirement. As it was Sunday the celebrations and ceremony will be held today, Monday. Martin Luther King Day. A fitting day for the man who was the first black president of the USA. The pressure to succeed resting heavy on his shoulders.
He will always have that 'claim to fame' but how much better off African Americans have been on his 'watch', history will decide.
Obama is facing a wide range of challenges. His Presidency has overseen kill not capture missions in Events last week in Mali and Algeria have revealed to the public what Western governments already knew. The Arab Spring has unleashed a veritable army of Islamist militant rebels around the globe and destabilised the Maghreb.
Obama faces pressures at home and away. If he does not resolve America's debt problem that country's reputation, as the most powerful country in the world, will be lost. They have already lost the reuptation as 'Land of the Free.' Guantanamo Bay or Gitmo remains an open festering sore on the periphery of America. Internet freedoms are being restricted around the world and things are beginning to change for the worse.
Reporting from western countries is selective and behind the scenes there are the age old double dealings and intrigue. America acting as the puppeteers in foreign civil unrest is bound to end in tears, as they say.
We wish President Obama and America luck during his second term. Once the fanfare, muted this time, has gone there is a great deal of work to be done. What is done and where is important.
Foreign interference is sometimes vital, sometimes necessary but these days more often than not it is destructive.
Full speech via the National Post shown here:
Vice President Biden, Mr. Chief Justice, Members of the United States Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens: