However, this year the president has reasons to smile as the future looks more hopeful – the US economy is recovering, Republicans are weak and he is untainted by scandal.
According to the UK’s Telegraph, Washington decrees that Barack Obama should not have a prayer of re-election this year. After Great Depression no US president has won a second term with unemployment rate above 7.4 per cent.
The current unemployment is at 8.5 per cent, the lowest since February 2009, Mr Obama’s first full month in office.
Besides, GDP continues creeping up, the stock market is nearly double the low reached following the financial debacle of autumn 2008 and consumer confidence is returning.
However, Republican activists are harp on the danger of the world’s most powerful economy facing a Greek-style collapse.
And it’s no wonder as the national debt is at a record $15 trillion, the housing market remains stagnant, it is an easy argument to make.
Besides, Barack Obama is the king of bailouts and subsidies and big government waste, the progenitor of a $787 billion stimulus that didn’t work and a rescue of the car industry that handed over ownership to the trade unions, which is only partly true.
What is more, activists are asking why the president couldn’t keep his word and to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay and why it took so long to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” rule for gays serving in the military.
They wonder if he was too timid to reintroduce higher tax rates for the rich and too feeble under attack from Republicans.
American manufacturing is in the period of quiet renaissance. For example, in Ohio four car companies have recently announced investments in new plants worth hundreds of millions.
GM is investing $2 billion at 17 facilities in eight states. Chrysler will create 1,100 jobs in Toledo on a new truck production line that is repatriating jobs from Mexico. Airbus intends to establish an aerospace research and development consortium in Dayton.
“I don’t want to over-promise and overstate it because there are still too many people not working, but the growth is starting to happen,” says Sherrod Brown, a Democratic senator for Ohio. “As we come out of national recession we are going to see a lot more growth in Ohio in manufacturing.”
Experts predict slow recovery of economics and that many low-skilled, well-paying manual jobs will never return.
Unfortunately, today the numbers of unemployed or partially employed people is much higher than the official statistic.
“But when President Obama delivers his State of the Union address to the nation tonight, he will be able to present what he has called a ‘hopeful trend’,” says Alex Spillius, the Telegraph’s reporter.
“He will portray the overarching objective of his presidency as building a lasting economic recovery from the ruins of the mess he inherited, based on manufacturing, improved education and energy independent of the OPEC nations – a goal of at least four of his predecessors which, according to new BP forecasts, is now achievable within 20 years.”
Despite the fact that Mr Obama has made plenty of mistakes, he will be facing a weaker candidate than Bush faced in Clinton, and will not suffer from the distracting presence of a third party candidate like Ross Perot.