WASHINGTON – President-elect Barack Obama set the bar high for himself on the campaign trail with promises to expand health care coverage, end the war in Iraq, provide tax cuts to nearly all Americans and reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil.
But now that Obama has won the presidency, and made history in the process by becoming the first black elected commander-in-chief, the media may have moved the bar out of his reach by comparing him to historical figures like Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, said the comparisons are not doing Obama any favors.
"You know with Lincoln and FDR as your prototypes, how can you possibly produce?" he told FOX News. "You can't produce to fulfill those expectations."
Ironically, his most controversial campaign promise -- to bring combat troops in Iraq home in 16 months -- may not be difficult to achieve if conditions there continue to improve.
But other campaign promises may not be as easy to deliver on, with a budget deficit that could hit a trillion dollars next year: a second economic stimulus package, reforming the health care system and providing tax cuts to 95 percent of Americans.
The London-based Economist magazine said Obama's first decision may involve who to disappoint. But historian Douglas Brinkley said at least Obama will have an excuse.
"He's going to say, 'Look, I was going to build a levee system in New Orleans that would've cost $60 billion to make the city safe for category 5 storms like I promised, but that was before the meltdown of October, and so now I've got to fix the plumbing of capitalism.'"
For now, Obama still can bask in the glow of his historic victory. Millions of people are expected to attend in inaugural Jan. 20.
But recent history suggests presidents don't get very long honeymoons. And after a campaign in which media outlets were accused of favoring Obama, Sabato thinks reporters won't take long to find something new to write.
"Let's revisit that in a year," he said. "I think they'll find that the media were very, very tough on President Obama."
FOX News' Wendell Goler contributed to this report.