Barack Obama Will Spend His Precious Time Managing Expectations

First on Obama's list may be managing expectations...time that should be spent on the economy.

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By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog.

On the financial side, expectations for President Obama's performance have been driven to a point beyond limerence.

As defined at Reference.com:

Limerence, as posited by psychologist Dorothy Tennov, is an involuntary cognitive and emotional state in which a person feels an intense romantic desire for another person....  Limerence can often be what is meant when one expresses having intense feelings of attachment, preoccupations with the love object, and (as new research on brain chemistry shows) a similar mind-state to obsessive compulsive disorder.

Progressive America, joined by independents and moderates, elected a young, brilliant, but untested progressive as president, largely in reaction to the chaotically destructive presidency of George W. Bush. Bush governed from so far right that he wreaked havoc on our financial and many other systems.

The economic problems we now face are now of such magnitude, we hope President Obama can fix them. He has tried mightily to downplay expectations. Once he gets to work as president, his version of change may or may not have an immediate and huge fiscal impact. If it does not, however, his followers' deification of the man have created such a buildup that a huge crash is possible.

Obama's first job may well have to be managing public expectations. And if that's the case, it will take away from his time managing the economy. This is not good. If the economy begins to turn around quickly, then he will have been worthy of the deification. If it does not, we are all in much more trouble than we can imagine.