By Niall Stanage and Amie Parnes - 01/21/13 10:00 AM EST
At the time of his 2008 election win, some Obama supporters spoke about him in quasi-messianic terms. His first inauguration brought an enormous crowd to Washington’s National Mall and a broader excitement to the nation at large. Polling at the time gave Obama an approval rating of around 80 percent.
But the depth of the nation’s economic troubles, a battle over healthcare reform and a large, if nebulous, sense that Obama had not fully lived up to his billing eroded the president’s popularity over the next couple of years.