That's the question many Americans still can't answer. Before he was even elected Obama was called "the biggest celebrity in the world" Yet most Americans feel they still don't really know him.
He is always so cool and collected that ordinary people think he doesn't feel their pain, at a time when high unemployment is causing a great deal of pain.
Obama still makes elegant and articulate speeches, but Americans connect better with the snappy slogans George W Bush used to coin so easily. And this president seems so detached he is often described as having demeanor of an Ivy League university professor, at time when the country seems to want a leader who is more like a football coach.
My favourite cartoon of this administration shows a little boy who is disappointed by his new President Obama action figure toy. "All he does is calmly analyze the situation" complains the unhappy child
Never ending coverage on several different 24 hour news channels means Obama suffers from literally constant criticism. On the unashamedly right wing Fox News he is relentlessly criticized for trying to bring "socialism" to America. While the increasingly liberal MSNBC attacks Obama from the left. And the internet spreads increasingly outlandish lies about him.
One in five say they believe Obama is Muslim - even though he is a Christian.
Voters seem to be increasingly confused over the most basic facts about their leader. One in five say they believe Obama is Muslim - even though he is a Christian. And he is constantly dogged by rumours that he was not born in America and therefore isn't eligible to be president.
It was all very different in November 2008. Election night was an astonishing national celebration. I was in Chicago where celebrities poured into Grant Park to join delighted Obama supporters. The celebrations were nationwide as the whole country congratulated themselves for electing their first black president.
When I went back to Iowa early 2010 things has changed dramatically. Iowa was where Obama's journey to the White House began. When this tiny - and almost entirely white - state picked him as their presidential candidate back in January 2010.
Two years on all that excitement had disappeared. I went knocking on the same doors then-candidate Obama had, to find the people who had enthusiastically promised him their votes. Many of them told me they now wished they'd voted for someone else. They couldn't think anything Obama had done that had helped them in these tough economic times.
The White House would answer that delivering comprehensive healthcare reform will make huge difference to many people's lives - and will stand as one of this administration's great achievements. But it's also detested by large numbers of Americans. It was the debate over healthcare that really galvanized grassroots opposition to President Obama.
During the summer of 2009 opposition to his signature policy seemed to morph into bitter personal hatred. Posters of Obama wearing a Hitler mustache started appearing - and can still be seen on streets today. The language used against him turned vicious. He's often called a "traitor" as well as a "communist" and even a "racist".
Americans are struggling with the knowledge that the 21st century may not belong to them.
As the opposition grows, Obama hasn't been able to connect with voters the way he did during the campaign. He got to the White House because of his exceptional ability to describe peoples concerns and frustrations - and embody their desire for change. Yet most think he hasn't delivered that change and he seems to lost his capacity to convince people he understands them and their problems.
Americans are struggling with the knowledge that the 21st century may not belong to them. The US economy is still the largest in the world - but it's being challenged by China, India and Brazil. The American military is the biggest and most powerful in the world - but it's been humbled in Iraq and Afghanistan. And America's appetite for their role as global policeman is waning. What a time to be the US Commander in Chief.
Yet, Barack Obama is still the most powerful man in the world. And he still hopes to use his office to change the world. He sincerely believes his involvement might secure a peace settlement between Israel and Palestine. He is determined to re-make America's relations with the Islamic world. And is working toward his long held dream of a world free of nuclear weapons.
He has already been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, by people who thought his presidency offered a unique opportunity. And around the globe many continue to believe in Obama's message of "Hope".
But it's the American voters who will decide whether to return him to the White House in 2012. And Obama may find then that being popular abroad does not always translate into success at home.