(Charlie Archambault for USN&WR)
Elected in a euphoric wave of hope and change for the future, President Obama's recent stumblings over the Gulf oil disaster, efforts to influence Democratic races, and hiccups in stopping domestic terrorism have even his friends thinking he's no different than any other president.
This week there have been several liberals and progressives making the charge that Obama, despite all the election hype and hope, is just another politician. Mike Barnicle, a regular on the MSNBC morning show Morning Joe, vented that frustration yesterday. Talking Thursday about the good Americans felt electing what they thought was a unique and intelligent young president in 2008, he said: "It was as if we gave ourselves a big gift box with a huge bow on it and now with everything that he inherited, the economy, two wars, speaking like a hugely partisan guy about the deficits yesterday about the Republicans—we open the bow, we take the top off the box and it's the same old same old."
That's not to say that Obama can't come back, like former President Clinton did several times. Spokesman Robert Gibbs said that if he had a tombstone for every time the administration had been declared dead, "we could open a cemetery." And other Democrats say that Obama is getting a bad rap in the media. But pollsters suggest that Obama's long stretch at 50 percent public approval or less means that the thrill is gone.
We've asked some Whispers regulars if they think Obama is the same old same old and here are the five ways they see the president as little different than previous administrations.