In his new high-stress, low-reward position, Obama will be charged with such tasks as completely overhauling the nation's broken-down economy, repairing the crumbling infrastructure, and generally having to please more than 300 million Americans and cater to their every whim on a daily basis. As part of his duties, the black man will have to spend four to eight years cleaning up the messes other people left behind.
The country seems to be full of Obama Enthusiasts (to use a pejorative coined by Neal Stevenson in Anathem) -- can 79% of Americans actually approve of the performance of a guy who hasn't yet made any hard decisions -- on what grounds are they approving? There are Facebook groups devoted to counting down the hours to when he becomes president.
It's almost as if, a desperate nation is hoping that Obama pulls us out of our funk (and becomes more than a historical marker). But, it is just as likely that, like Carter, he is forever associated with incurable malaise. And even if he succeeds, he's not going to succeed in a matter of minutes!