The political chattering classes were championing his credentials; many talking heads on the 'liberal left' were predicting the closure of Guantanamo, amendments to the Military Commissions Act of 2006 removing the suspension of habeas corpus, thorough Congressional investigations into warrantless wiretapping etc etc. The 'wish list' was endless, the previous president had spent the majority of his time in office eroding our Constitutional rights and civil liberties at home and tarnishing our image abroad - all sandwiched between his primary pursuit in office: family holidays at Kennebunkport.
Obama was going to be different, he planned to send Mr Lobbyist out of Washington, government was going to be clean, efficient and focused on public good. He knew exactly the dirty secrets of government, an Obama '08 document entitled Restoring Trust and improving Transparency states "Oil and gas executives met with Vice President Cheney to write our energy laws, with the goal of increasing their profits and saddling the public with their environmental and public health costs; Cheney went to the Supreme Court to keep the names of these lobbyists secret." The gig was up for backdoor deals and the time of what Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig calls 'institutionalised corruption', was over. A new sheriff was coming to town.
Whether Obama came into Office with a naive agenda of liberating the US Public from the hold of the Lobbying Industry, or if he played the Left like Yo-Yo Ma plays he Cello, doesn't really matter. What matters is we are essentially experiencing the third term of G W Bush minus a few wins on the domestic front for the centre left - albeit wins by the two branches of Government Obama doesn't reside in. The status quo has had us gripped for over a decade now, it's time for a change.
Restoring Trust and improving Transparency
(I think it's bad form when people refer to a document without providing a link to it. Sure, most people won't read it, but still ...)