When he first ran for president, Barack Obama evoked fervent loyalty and extravagant dreams in many people. As the first black president, with a rare gift for oratory, he was supposed to inspire us to new heights, end our racial divisions and make America beloved around the world. Campaigning for him, his wife, Michelle, said, "We need a leader who's going to touch our souls."
In 2007, Timothy Noah, of the liberal online magazine Slate, created a sardonic regular feature, "The Obama Messiah Watch." Its stated purpose was to determine whether Obama was "the second coming of our Savior and our Redeemer, Prince of Peace and King of Kings, Jesus Christ."