In this case I'm particularly cynical, because even before it begins there are so many obvious ways for Obama's presidency to fail:
- He'll have to deal with a nasty recession and the US' relative decline. These tough times will be a particular problem for Obama, as his supporters have high expectations that everything will improve and won't be prepared for a year or two of deterioration.
- Obama didn't adjust any of his programs or give any hint that things would have to be different when US finances took a remarkable turn for the worse 6 weeks ago. Now he'll have to break a whole host of election promises and lose all credibility and influence in his first few months.
- Obama promises to step up the war in Afghanistan, which has disaster written all over it. What's the strategic objective there? Transforming the society to be more pro-Western looks even less likely than in Iraq. Maybe the US wants to prop up the friendly Tajik/Uzbek/Hazara government against the Pushtuns, but that government will never control the country if it still needs American assistance after 7 years. The US would be better off withdrawing now before sinking deeper into another hopeless quagmire.