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Gandul, Romania

The Second Coming

By Alina Matis

Translated By Andreea Muntean

21 January 2013

Edited by Natalie Clager

Romania - Gandul - Original Article (Romanian)

Barack Obama is definitely not Jesus Christ. However, not more than four years ago, he was a quasi-prophet of American politics. His fellow citizens, his people of the month, placed him in this divine image, which was made possible by political marketing geniuses. When they realized his greatness was not all that great, people got offended. So they passed their vote to Mitt Romney, but only to admonish Obama. Afterward, when Obama won the elections, they were happy again and witnessed his “second coming.”

On Monday, Obama did not offer people a moving inaugural speech. Luckily for him, nobody really expected one. The history of the previous 15 presidents elected to second terms proved it was impossible. He did, however, give a symbolic speech and spoke loud and clear about countries and policies, without naming them and without politicizing a deeply emotional event for the 800,000 people present there. This was a lesson that only Bill Clinton was able to give. Looking at the footage of the crowd, it seemed like all 800,000 Americans were attending a religious service.

After celebrating 150 years since the abolition of slavery and 50 years after Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous Washington march, Barack Obama and his guests of honor spoke to the world about the values of freedom, equality and unity. On stage, in front of the Capitol, behind a thick bulletproof window, stood a man who, for some, is still the messiah and whose speech was for the people.

The end of the war in Afghanistan, the U.S.’ economic revival, a lower deficit, a historic health reform, global warming and the green industry, peace as a solution to conflicts, a better relationship with adversaries across the world in order to find common ground and benefits, gender and sexual orientation equality — this was Obama’s speech. It was the centerpiece of a spectacle that included stars, artists, divas and activists, a spectacle that included the people and the 1 percent.

Though not much is expected of a lame duck, Barack Obama will not have a meaningless mandate, by far. He begins it with a reform that is even more sensitive than “Obamacare.” Medical insurance is one thing, but the true battle of his mandate will be guns.

Obama is still facing Congress, this rebel, spoiled child of American politics in its puberty years, which will resume the bickering on economy, teetering yet again on the verge of a fiscal cliff. Obama also has a pending promise — the immigration reform that he so eagerly promoted during his first campaign and resumed in the second.

Same as from the prophet in 2009, a great deal is expected from the president in 2013.

Apart from some international crises, it is hard to believe that the 44th American president will be concerned with external affairs. His real days of mandate are not that many. Two years from now, a new presidential campaign will begin and all the discussions will be about politics, not policies.

For the moment, we are blessed with Obama’s inauguration playlist, as even a job in politics could use some music.



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