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Obama after a 2009 Congress healthcare session. ‘Having run on a campaign of hope and change, too little has changed for too many
US voters want somebody to reflect on their frailties
In June 1979 Jimmy Carter's pollster, Patrick Caddell, wrote the president a devastating memo. Inflation was at 11%. Unemployment, the price of oil and tension with Iran was rising. Caddell was anxious. "For the first time, we actually got numbers where people no longer believed that the future of America was going to be as good as it was now," he said. "And that really shook me, because it was so at odds with the American character."


The Sun channelled Barack Obama
Obama's 'Yes we can' slogan: a strange choice for Brooks and Cameron
As texts go it was devastating, arguably one of the most revealing pieces of evidence to emerge from the Leveson inquiry into phone hacking.
Europe: Hotbed of Islamophobic Extremism


Wisconsin governor Scott Walker meets with supporters and volunteers. Photograph: Orjan F Ellingvag/Corbis
Wisconsin Democrats get dealt a bitter blow in courageous battle
In a sermon, which would later serve as a title for Barack Obama's bestselling book, his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, described a painting called Hope by GF Watts. It depicted a bruised and battered woman who used the single string she had on her harp to make holy music. "To take the one string you have left and to have the audacity to hope," said Wright.


Citizens in Milwaukee take to the polls to cast their vote in the recall election against Republican Wisconsin governor Scott Walker. Photograph: Darren Hauck/Reuters
Wisconsin recall vote: high turnout raises hopes on both sides of divide
Reports of stratospheric turnout in Wisconsin's recall election on Tuesday boosted Democrat hopes of victory in the vote to topple Republican governor Scott Walker.


Lines form in an auditorium as voters wait to cast their ballot in Milwaukee. Photograph: Jeffrey Phelps/AP
Wisconsin recall vote: early lines suggest high turnout and close finish
Eighteen months of acrimony that made Wisconsin a national political battleground climaxed on Tuesday as voters lined up from dawn to cast ballots in the recall election.


Bill Clinton with Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett at a rally for Barrett, who is trying to unseat Governor Scott Walker in Milwaukee. Photograph: Scott Olson/Getty
There's class war in Wisconsin, yet the Democrats sing Kumbaya
There is a degree of hyperbole one comes to expect from American activists around election time. Given the level of polarisation, this is hardly surprising. Every vote, you're told, is about liberty, justice, the American dream, the constitution or the world one wants to leave your children or grandchildren. Then, often, half the eligible voters stay at home and, regardless of who wins, not an awful lot changes.


President Bill Clinton stumps for Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett in the runup to the gubernatorial recall election on June 5 Photograph: Brian Cahn/ Brian Cahn/ZUMA Press/Corbis
Bill Clinton brings presidential energy to Wisconsin recall campaign
Former president Bill Clinton came to Milwaukee this morning to mobilise voters campaigning to oust Wisconsin governor Scott Walker ahead of Tuesday's recall vote.
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