Off an on throughout era Obama, we've been talking about Barack Obama as an icon. As we've said here and elsewhere, Obama's ubiquitous image and the places that image appears, makes him more than a celebrity. His visage--and the fact that we can use "visage" rather than face--connotes reverence, hope, and transformation.
Take a look at the objects below: coins, plates--even stained glass. Notice how Obama's face has replaced the traditional icon.
In addition to coins and plates and stained glass, there are even images of Obama as an actual icon (see above).
What this means is that people are locating in Obama's image the emotional and psychological qualities normally reserved for religious figures like saints. To be sure, this helped him win the election. But, the downside is that we have high expectations of saints--even higher for deities. What happens when Mr. Obama cannot answer prayers?