While college-aged youth are characteristically known as ambivalent when it comes to politics, the presidential election is big enough to draw anyone’s attention regardless of demographic.
And the upcoming 2012 presidential season promises to be an attention-grabber, with the incumbent President Obama pitted against such possible opponents as Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman, the tea party tsaritsas.
Obama’s bid for reelection will not be as effortless as it was his first time around; average Americans are not feeling the hope as much as during the 2008 campaign.
Now, people are tired, and their patience for change has worn thin.
The president will have to recapture and reinvigorate his alienated leftist base (who, admittedly, are going to vote for him regardless of their disappointment).
He’ll have to face off against Republican candidates that will certainly try to appeal to the overhyped Tea Party movement (something the GOP has been doing since the beginning).
And Obama will have to answer for unfulfilled campaign promises such as the closing of Guantanamo Bay.
It’s a tall order for the incumbent, but what will be even more challenging for Obama will be to remind people of the things he’s actually accomplished.
Even though the president did end combat operations in Iraq (for the most part), shifted his military focus on Afghanistan and pass health care reform, it’s nothing more than what he promised to the American people.
Obama set the bar so high during the 2008 campaign that everything he has achieved during his presidency seems to fall short of American expectations.
Where’s the magical change-o-rama we were promised?
The fact that Obama’s bailout of the auto companies saved an important holdout of American industry; that he passed healthcare legislation, which had been stagnating for over 50 years; that he’s elevated international opinion of our country – none of these things really resonate with Americans.
Even the economical freefall has stabilized; job growth is showing signs of recovering (statistically, if not substantially) – but with the economy still in a slump, average Americans will overlook these things.
What we have to remember is that the problems facing are nation are large and complex, but that doesn’t make them insurmountable.
Obama’s biggest challenge in 2012 will be to remind the American people that there is still hope for change and progress, and it will be up to us to make it happen.
Obama’s official 2012 campaign announcement video: