Having been elected on a wave of hope four years ago, Barack Obama now faces a significant drop in popularity among disillusioned Democrats.
Back then, a historic campaign turned US politics into a pop culture phenomenon. The Democratic candidate achieved unprecedented support, international fame and a record-breaking US $650 million in donations. Thousands of New Yorkers celebrated the victory, clutching an enormous American flag hand-sewn by Obama supporters.
But the winds have changed – and the same very Democratic symbol waved in honor of the president-elect in 2008 has been donated to the movement that became a phenomenon in 2011.
David Mafouda, who fundraised for Obama in 2008, organized the flag project after being inspired by his rhetoric – a dream shattered by the subsequent years of “politics as usual”.
“Currently what’s inspiring me is OWS. That’s why I brought the flag to OWS,” he told RT. “And the thing that inspired me about it is the fact that it’s a grass roots movement that had a very clear and transparent process.”
Artist Shepard Fairey feels similarly disenchanted, releasing an updated version of his iconic “Hope Poster” in which Obama has been supplanted by Occupy Wall Street.
With an economy still in crisis, Wall Street largely unregulated, social programs slashed and over 45 million citizens on food stamps, Barack Obama still says that “it all starts with you, making a decision to get involved.” Now, it seems, his familiar rhetoric may not be enough to win back his old fan base.