The Obama I used to know

By Curtis Edmonds
Forum Editor

Like many, I fell for Gotye’s infectious breakup anthem, “Somebody that I Used to Know”. But perhaps uniquely, I found myself applying the song to President Obama. Even though I voted to reelect him, I felt that the president had devolved from the young, energetic Senator brimming with ideas to a commander-in-chief scarred by the backlashes of health care reform and budget battles.

But then I watched the 2013 State of the Union, and I felt myself smiling, because it seemed that the Obama that I used to know was back. He presented ambitious ideas such as tying federal funding to universities based off their affordability, universal pre-school, determining the minimum wage by cost of living, and passing gun control measures to ensure that the Newtown children and Chicago majorette Hadiya Pendleton did not die in vein.

When you look around the room that was in attendance at the State of the Union, you can’t help but feel hopeless. The room was full of old, white men who allow ambition and greed to influence their votes instead of the American people. That’s exactly what we all want, right? Wrong, because I spent the whole summer in fear that the same kind of man that I just described would become president. And though this did not come to fruition, with the say-no-at-all-costs mentality of the Republican lead House of Representatives, it seems as though my vote didn’t matter.

Yes, the Obama that I used to know was at the State of the Union, but so were the John Boehner and Eric Cantor I always knew. Though I am extremely hopeful, I am also a realist; there is no way these reforms that the President is calling for will get passed without bipartisan cooperation. And if the 113th Congress is anything like the 112th, I’ll be singing along with Gotye again.

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