WORLD CUP JUNE 23, 2010
I'm sitting in a solid block of Americans at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria watching Team USA play in the sandbox with the Algerians, and the one thing I notice is the total absence of "Yes We Can" chants. This time last year, even the South Africans were chanting Obama's campaign motto. In the teeming Johannesburg bar in which I watched Bafana Bafana take on Brazil in last June's Confederations Cup semis, "Yes We Can" was the favorite refrain, not to mention at the US-Brazil final. I haven't heard it once this year. My companion and I tried getting a round going in the stands here, but no dice. It's like it's been forgotten. Everybody prefers "Ole, ole, ole." I don't mean to extrapolate too broadly from this, but it has turned out to be a saying that had a shelf life.
Update: OK, with that kind of finish, even "Yes We Can" returned.