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MEMORIES of President Obama's election and inauguration, which electrified the American, world, and pan-African imaginations approximately two years ago have almost faded under the harsh demands of governance, in the face of Washington's descent into political gridlock verging on ungovernability. The euphoria that temporarily lifted the country from the abyss of collective despondency has dissipated as the Great Recession continues to devastate lives and livelihoods and mock the fantasies of indebted consumption of the American dream. The increasingly embattled Obama administration finds itself buffeted between the angry Tea Party rabble on the right and the impatient progressives of the left. In the meantime, African American leaders are beginning to question the president's commitment to a "black agenda" more openly. Elsewhere in the world, the giddy promises of the Obama era have largely lost their glow as the reflexes of American imperial power reassert themselves amidst the recycled rhetoric of multilateralism. And in the pan-African world, from the continent itself to Afro-Latin America to Afro-Europe and Afro-Asia, the great expectations for a new dispensation for African peoples remain suspended in hope and uncertainty. The romance with Obama, which began to lose its seductions in Cairo, frayed in Accra and fizzled in Copenhagen.