When Barack Hussein Obama came to Washington eight years ago as the junior U.S. Senator from Illinois, he was a self-described "skinny guy with a funny name." Just look at him now. He's going where only 15 of his 43 predecessors as president of the United States have gone, into his second elected term.
He incidentally joins Franklin Delano Roosevelt as the only president to take the oath of office four times. President Roosevelt was elected four times, but President Obama was led to recite the oath incorrectly by Chief Justice John Roberts who flubbed the line, so Obama had to take the correct oath again later, after the public swearing in. And this year he took the oath twice again, the first time on Sunday Jan. 20 as prescribed by the Constitution, and then again in public on Monday Jan. 21, the day the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday was celebrated.
He took the oath with his hand on Holy Bibles once owned by President Abraham Lincoln and by Dr. King. Like Lincoln, like King, like other second-term presidents, Obama's path into the future is fraught with peril.
President Lincoln was assassinated just a month after taking the oath, and Dr. King never lived to see his 40th birthday.
Richard Nixon never completed his second term in office. It was said that the aging Ronald Reagan may have been diminished toward the end of his days in the White House, possibly even nodding off to sleep during Cabinet meetings in his second term.
President Bill Clinton was impeached during his second term, and President George W. (for worst in history) Bush left office with the economy on the brink of collapse – driven there by his ruinous policies which favored the super-rich and the greedy rich. And he led the nation into an immoral and more than likely also an illegal war in Iraq.
Early in his White House tenure (wa-a-ay too early in my humble opinion) this president was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Now he has the distinction of being the only former Nobel Peace Laureate with his very own "kill list." Every Tuesday or so, he and his security advisers meet to decide who will be wiped out during the next seven days. Despite the similarities this president has tried to affirm, he should be remembered for "I have a drone," and not for "I have a Dream."
But this is one leader who has had the hand of providence on him throughout his political career. He won his Senate seat after his Republican opponent was humiliated by his wife during a messy divorce in which it was revealed he took his wife to wife-swapping, freaky sex dens. When it looked like Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) might be closing Obama's lead in the public opinion polls, whoops, the economy careened over the brink in mid-September 2008, and the clueless McCain called for a two week suspension of the election campaign.
The same thing happened in the 2012 election, just when the hopelessly flawed campaign of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney refused to die a natural death and go away, all of a sudden Superstorm Sandy devastated New York, and the president just did his job, appearing to be very presidential, then coasting to a landslide victory in the Electoral College, and a comfortable 55 percent majority in the national popular vote, erasing all doubts about his second-term victory.
The president faces challenges all over the globe, at a time when this country's power and influence is being irreversibly curtailed. Israel wants to goad the United States into fighting a war with Iran, a war that suits the imperialistic interests of the Zionist state and not the interests of the United States.
In every stable country in Africa, China has rushed in with investments and has cornered the market on raw materials from that continent. It looks like everywhere else, Muslims – emboldened by wrong-headed U.S. policies – are on the warpath. They are using weapons turned loose by the U.S.-supported overthrow of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, and his former allies have no restraining force on them any longer.
This country's budget problems and other limitations may forever prevent this country from ever being able to strategically "walk and chew gum" at the same time and thus have its way on the world stage.
And while President Obama is freed – unchained – from ever having to run another political campaign, he may still be bogged down in his second term, unable to soar like he might want. Barack unchained? Maybe not so much ...