Reflecting on tough 365 days

PHILADELPHIA. What swept Andrew Zimdahl up into volunteering for Barack Obama the candidate has been most disappointing to the 27-year-old small-business owner in Obama the president’s first year — hope.

“He hasn’t been able to leverage the same kind of emotion he did during the campaign,” said Zimdahl, a former financial consultant who owns a moving company. “He had hope and not anger and maybe that’s what he’s needed.”

Obama galvanized the masses during his victories last year. But opponents during his first 365 days in power have proven even more powerful.

Josh Uretsky, who campaigned for Obama throughout 2008, would like to see Obama bare his teeth a little more.

“I wish he played hard ball a bit more,” said Uretsky, who now works for a local congressional campaign. “I always knew, and one reason I supported Obama, was he’s got a very facilitating negotiations style. But that has been one of the problems.”

Without health insurance in part because he owns a business and has a pre-existing condition, Zimdahl is disappointed in the first year for a more practical reason. He hoped to have an insurance option by now.

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