Has Obama entered a marathon in order to achieve the change he once promised?

This question has emerged repeatedly in the U.S. media. The mantra of change transformed the word into an unparalleled precious stone in the president's election campaign for the White House. He wasn't a "WASP" [White Anglo-Saxon Protestant], or even white for that matter. And no sooner did his first term end that he started to hear in various languages what didn't please him at all, because most of the things that he promised to change had remained the same.

Now he really is racing against time, and before he packs his bags to leave the White House, he wants to leave his black fingerprints all over some thorny issues — like the Palestinian nation, which he had promised but has yet to achieve, and the U.S. relationship with Latin American countries, which have remained in crisis. The prisoner exchange with Cuba, as well as the announcement by the State Department to lift a half-century embargo may achieve some change, but this local shift will not compensate for what Obama has left undone. Just like his predecessors in the Democratic Party, he dreams of an honorable farewell for his presidency, and something to write about in his memoirs.

The president who won the Nobel Peace Prize has not stopped the bloodshed in a number of hotspots, as he inherited quite a heavy load from his Republican predecessor Bush Jr., both with the economy and with unjustified wars such as the war in, and occupation of, Iraq. It was actually announced in America recently, after wide investigations, that Saddam Hussein had no connection with al-Qaida or with the events of Sept. 11. As for the fabricated pretext of weapons of mass destruction being present in Iraq, what has happened has left a permanent scar on the forehead of the United States.

Lately, Obama has acknowledged the presence of racial discrimination in his country, the victims of which have done nothing wrong but share the president's skin color.

We know that all the Democrats and Republicans that have left the White House try to rewrite history in their memoirs. Sometimes the whole point of their writing is to exonerate themselves and to attempt to ensure a more favorable position for them in history. But will Obama be able to redress some of his positions in a relatively short amount of time?

Will he be able to achieve what his voters, especially the youth, were so enthusiastic about in his mantra of change, and which gave him some measure of credibility?

In his marathon, Obama reminds us of what former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote concerning the wasted opportunities of the last three U.S. presidents. Will Obama be the fourth?

Or are there surprises in store for the final quarter hour of his second and final presidential term?