Tara Hamilton-Miller: The honeymoon is over for Obama

To Washington, where President Obama's blissful honeymoon appears to be coming to an end.

Tara Hamilton-Miller
Tara Hamilton-Miller

Turn on the television and two broadcasters are sniggering at the number of occasions Obama has used the word 'unprecedented'.

Over the past few months, he has used it in public speeches a total of 129 times. 'Unprecedented action, unprecedented coalition, unprecedented levels of transparency' ... etc, etc.

This gleeful mockery would never have happened three months ago. His personal PR took a pounding last week on a visit to Korea. During part of the tour Obama joked to a group of military personnel: 'You guys make a good photo op.' Most likely an off-the-cuff comment but many Americans thought it insensitive.

Further suggestion that the President is now officially fair game was at the weekend when he was the subject of a sketch on Saturday Night Live.

The President has had less than a year in office and already there are concerns of weakness.

This week will be one of his toughest yet. He has to deliver a speech on Afghanistan and the addition of thousands of extra troops. The military backdrop of West Point has been chosen for the photo opportunity.

Commentators are now openly talking about his dithering and the fact he is distancing himself from allied countries. There is no way the speech can please everyone. Obama doesn't like making decisions that could be seen as unpopular. It will be difficult to talk of an exit strategy at the same time as increasing troops.

Obama will now know what it is like to have a war on his shoulders. He was adamant; he called the war a necessity, a war of our time, and he has to stand by that.

This all comes in the same week when he gets ready to fight for his health care bill. Americans are already asking where the money will come from.

He will have to appease the left of his party, be prepared for battles and keep his allies on side.

In the Old Glory Steak House in Georgetown a disillusioned rib-eater said: 'I guess he's like, y'know, kinda vacillatin' at the moment.'

- Tara Hamilton-Miller is a political adviser and formerly worked for the Conservative Party press team.

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