News24

Wistful Obama contemplates 'last campaign'

2012-07-06 10:00

Parma - A wistful Barack Obama has reached the moment common to all political careers - when leaders realise the end is closer than the beginning.

For sure, the US president is banking on another four-and-a-half years before he steps off the global stage.

But as he cranks up his re-election campaign against Republican Mitt Romney, Obama is waxing nostalgic.

"One way or another, this will be my last campaign," he told a crowd gathered under floodlit trees on a sticky Ohio evening on Thursday, before remembering the door-to-door politicking of his first campaign in Illinois.

For Obama, the prospect of bidding farewell to front line politics in six months, or four years later after a second term, may loom as more abrupt than for most politicians, given his swift rise to the pinnacle of power.

The president, then a newly minted Senator, with obvious designs on higher things, only came to Washington in early January 2005.

Draining crises

And the famously competitive Obama has made clear he intends to win a close race with Romney in November - and must do so to cement his legacy or see it wiped out by a new Republican leader.

If re-elected Obama will face a litany of what are sure to be draining crises, from a possible nuclear confrontation with Iran to completing the job of hauling the weary US middle classes out of their financial malaise.

It was not the first time that Obama had recently contemplated the fleeting nature of the US presidency, which limits incumbents to two four-year terms.

"It's fair to say that every president is acutely aware that we are just temporary residents - we're renters here," Obama said at a White House unveiling of former president George W Bush's portrait in May.

"We're charged with the upkeep until our lease runs out."

Obama's contemplative moment came on the first day of his first campaign bus tour of the 2012 race, as he cruised across the battlegrounds of Ohio and Pennsylvania which will be crucial to his fate on 6 November.

Man of the people pose

Between vote-seeking speeches, he stopped his shiny black Secret Service bus, with a presidential seal on the door, at a diner, stocked up on healthy snacks at a fruit stall and quaffed a beer in a bar.

"I like that hair, man. I was thinking of getting some hair just like it," the graying Obama told a young boy resplendent with a spiky, blue dyed, hairdo at the Kozy Corners eatery.

To a man with his wife and a baby nearby, the counsellor in chief said "just do what she tells you to do", expounding on the secrets of a good marriage.

Later, Obama popped by Ziggy's bar in Amherst, Ohio, as a television on the wall tuned to CNN related Romney's latest monthly fundraising haul of more than $100m.

The president clinked glasses with fellow drinkers as he sipped a pint of Miller Light, and was later pictured in a true man of the people pose, raising a glass with two young women.

Comments
  • dane.herbst.5 - 2012-07-06 11:00

    war criminal, thats all that man is

      Mark - 2012-07-06 12:05

      ... and you're a worthless comment troll.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-06 12:23

      Spot on Dane! Obama is killing lots and lots of kids, old people and unarmed innocent civilians by drones and night raids. So, no matter how many kids and old people Godfather Obama kills deliberately, he is still wonderful, isn't he. Even Obama’s daughters love the predator drones.

      dane.herbst.5 - 2012-07-06 13:16

      me a troll hey?? so ur cool with this bloke invading another country, expanding the war, killing innocent civilians, and what exactly is this doing for the world?? then he gets awarded a nobel peace prize?? now because i dont agree with that it makes me a troll?? mmm i can live with that then :)

      Denny - 2012-07-06 21:46

      I had great hope for Obama. I disagree with his economic ideas but I was hoping he was going to restore sanity to US foreign policy. Dane is however quite right - he has continued the new American tradition of bombing and torturing. At least he finally came out on gay marriage. Still very sad to watch his campaign promises on youtube from 2008 regarding war and seeing how things have panned out since.

  • fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-06 12:28

    Obama runs amok in Afghanistan, Assad runs amok in Syria and Netayahoo runs amok in Gaza. How did the fate of the millions fall into the hands of a tiny group of self-serving psychopaths?

  • leon.fellows.1 - 2012-07-06 13:00

    i like this guy, he has balls

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