Obama: Twelve months on, the star falls back to earth
October 31st, 2009
Obama has plummeted back to earth
If there was a degree of déjà vu for fans of Barack Obama crammed inside a university athletic arena in Hackensack, New Jersey, the other evening, it was entirely deliberate. They only had to close their eyes and listen to the deafening chants of “Yes We Can” to imagine they had been transported back to the heady days of a year ago when their candidate was on the verge of seizing the White House and making history.
Even with open eyes they could have felt some of that old frisson. Event organisers wandered the hall wearing shirts proclaiming “Yes We Can 2.0”, as if they were selling the latest Windows update, and a giant banner stage-right gave top billing to Obama. The name beneath his, Corzine, might almost have been an afterthought.
This was not a re-election rally for Mr Obama – not yet, please – but for Jon Corzine, the former boss of Goldman Sachs and now governor of New Jersey. He had invited the president to speak because, when Jersey voters go to the polls next Tuesday – New Jersey and Virginia are the only states where governorships are in play this year – it is not at all clear that they won’t ditch him in favour of his Republican opponent, Chris Christie. The latest polls say it’s too close to call.
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