Change from the Bush administration, Iraq, the financial crisis. America was on its knees, and he provided a history-changing way out.

Fast forward to 2012 and Obama risks becoming a one-term president, his tenure undermined by a lack of achievement and a swell of economy-driven momentum behind his Republican opposition.

After its 2008 defeat, the Grand Old Party ditched the losers (where did Sarah Palin go, anyways?) and regrouped. A new leader emerged in the shape of Mitt Romney, the Mormon former governor for the traditionally blue state of Massachusetts.

Officially unveiled as the Republic candidate last month, he has already managed to provide enough gaffes to make Bush Jr chuckle with pride at his public-speaking skill and worldly wisdom.

The difference between sheikh and sikh has proved tough for Romney to get to grips with, and he lambasted the UK on a visit here for being unprepared for the Olympics – the best contemporary Games, according to universal opinion.

Despite these errors, though, polls have shown Romney poses a very real threat to Obama – the US public trust him more with the economy; yet as a person, they prefer their current commander-in-chief.

Which neatly surmises this campaign’s areas of conflict: Obama has to show he can deliver on improving America’s financial woes, as he acknowledged at last week’s Democratic Convention, where he promised the path to economic prosperity is within reach, but that there is no quick fix; Romney has to prove to voters he is human and likeable.

Given both their prior records, they have equally tough challenges – and changes – ahead of them.

It’s going to be brutal, make no mistake. Change is needed, and coming, and let’s hope it is for the better. For all our sakes.

» Would President Romney be a step back for the US?


Fifty shades of romance

Fifty Shades Of Grey is the UK’s best-selling novel ever, outselling even Harry’s Hogwarts heroics.

It’s a tale of titillation featuring spanking, sex, handcuffs, sex, and more sex, or a traditional love story, like a Brief Encounter for our times.

It’s more likely one than the other, and there’s no prizes for guessing which.

Yet, bizarrely, EL James has claimed the success of her steamy trilogy is due to it being an “old-fashioned love story” rather than its gigglesome domination.

The old adage that ‘sex sells’ has endured for a reason – it is true.

Women have been drawn to the ‘passionate relationship’ between Anastasia and billionaire Christian Grey, but it’s the sex at the heart of this relationship that sparked its rampant word-of-mouth success.

There’s nothing wrong with this, of course, but let’s call a spade a spade, or, more to the point, let’s just call a paddle a paddle.


Photos: Getty