A Forum for Opinions on News, Politics, and Life
June 15th, 2012
By Dan Miller
Most anything can happen in five months and President Obama will do and say whatever he hopes will get him reelected. It probably won’t work, but it could.
There are many good reasons to be optimistic that Governor Romney will win. As economies continue to worsen domestically and internationally, President Obama seems to be losing whatever realistic perceptions he may once have had.
Barack Obama’s increasingly desperate struggle to win re-election is causing some of his worst traits to be put on display, including petulance and self-pity. The latest example occurred during a fundraiser in Baltimore, when the president said, “Because folks are still hurting right now, the other side feels that it’s enough for them to just sit back and say, ‘Things aren’t as good as they should be, and it’s Obama’s fault.’”
This is rich. No president in human history has quite equaled Obama when it comes to blaming others for his problems.
Race and hate cards seem among the few he has left beyond “it’s not my fault” and he uses them to charge Forward® at every opportunity. Is he approaching his credit limit? His credibility limit? His domestic stratagems won’t help him much with international problems, which are substantial and worsening. His international credibility card has already been used beyond its limit as well as its expiration date. Even Muslims, to whom he has tried so desperately to appeal in countries where they are in the majority, don’t approve of him now.
The Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes survey found the approval of Obama’s policies in Muslim-majority countries plummeted from an average 34 percent to 15 percent. In Pakistan, where Osama bin Laden was killed, approval is the lowest — coming in at 7 percent. Muslim attitudes toward America and confidence in Obama also decreased.
More than 26,000 people from 21 countries took part in the survey, taken between March 17 and April 20. (Emphasis added.)
I am almost (but not quite) beginning to feel a bit sorry for him.
He is down and deserves to be out. He’s Losing Union Members, Swing Staters, the Middle Class, and Fellow Democrats. His supporters are increasingly concerned that he may lose.
Interviews with a dozen Democratic strategists and fundraisers across the country show an increased sense of urgency among Obama backers. It follows a difficult two weeks for the president, including a dismal report on the nation’s unemployment picture, a Democratic defeat in the Wisconsin governor recall election and an impressive fundraising month for Romney and Republicans.
“We’ve all got to get in the same boat and start paddling in the same direction, or we’re going to have some problems,” said Debbie Dingell, a Democratic National Committee member and the wife of Michigan Rep. John Dingell.
“We can’t take this for granted,” said Peter Burling, a DNC member from New Hampshire. “I intend to be running scared from now until November.”
No big vacations until after November!
Governor Romney’s “The economy is doing fine” campaign video, a great take-off on an Obama video from 2008, is doing fine.
This newer one is pretty good too.
With the election less than five months off, President Obama has changed his strategy a bit, although it’s all still “Not His Fault.” In a major campaign speech (full text here) delivered in Ohio on June 14th President Obama
mounted a full-throated defense of his record on the economy … and warned that Mitt Romney would re-enact George W. Bush’s policies.
“Though we will have many differences over the course of this campaign, there is one place where I stand in complete agreement with my opponent: This election is about our economic future,” Obama said.
“This election presents a choice between two fundamentally different visions on how to create strong, sustained growth, how to pay down our long-term debt,” and how to generate good middle-class jobs, the president said. “This is not another trivial Washington argument.”
It had lots of farcical bovine excrement, the bio-fuel with which President Obama hopes to power his campaign out of the ditch into which he has driven it along with the economy. It can be labeled green energy and may appeal to some on that ground alone. For anyone who had been in a coma for the past decade only to awaken as President Obama began his speech, it may have seemed reasonable and to have made good points. Few not comatose seem to have approved of it.
Governor Romney countered that President Obama
“is going to be a person of eloquence” and marshal “all sorts of excuses.”
“But don’t forget, he’s been president for 3½ years, and talk is cheap. Actions speak very loud,” the former Massachusetts governor said, under a banner that read “Putting Jobs First.” “What he says and what he does are not always the exact same thing.”
During the first two of those 3½ years, President Obama had a compliant Democrat controlled Congress fully aware that “elections matter” and willing massively to accommodate him. The 2010 congressional elections, which resulted in a Republican controlled House due to public frustration with some of the Obama initiatives passed during those first two years, mattered as well. Rather than don the post-partisan
costume cap and gown he had worn during his campaign, he kept them in his closet. They have yet to come out.
Here’s a good analysis of the Ohio speeches.
Neither Mitt Romney nor President Obama said anything particularly new today. Both delivered standard stump speeches, Romney without a teleprompter, the president with, as both candidates customarily do. Even MSNBC had to admit that the president’s speech wasn’t much to write online about. He spent 54 minutes saying things he has said a zillion times before. …
Today’s moves showed that the Romney campaign is living rent-free in David Axelrod’s head. Axelrod tried use the president’s speech to get some revenge for his Boston flop by trying to upstage Romney. But all he did was put Romney up on the same plane with the sitting president in the nation’s mind today. Today’s speech was empty and boring. Fail for Axelrod.
All of these points have already been featured in the president’s other recent speeches. Between the pre-speech hype from the campaign, the lack of new material and the overall length of the speech reporters were clearly dissatisfied with end result. Read on for a sampling of Tweets from the political press slamming the president’s speech.
Before the speech was over, Politico’s Mike O’Brien begged the president to stop.
I agree. George Stephanopoulos, a former advisor to President Clinton, wrote in anticipation of the speech,
Where the opportunity comes for Romney and Obama is with undecided voters who have not made up their minds about how they feel about Romney. That’s why you will hear Obama in his speech talk about his definition of what he thinks Romney will do to the economy. Watch him say that Romney would double down even more on what Republicans have done in the past — tax cuts for the wealthy at the expense of programs that matter to the middle class. That’s an argument that worked for Bill Clinton back in 1994 and 1995 against the Republican Congress and also in the 1992 campaign. Will it work as well coming from this president?
For Mitt Romney an opportunity lies ahead. Can he build beyond what he’s already said and grab those undecided voters and convince them that he is going to come forward with economic plans that do more than just help the wealthy?
From here on out in the campaign we will see both sides talking a lot more about their opponent — both today and going forward. What we hear today in these dueling speeches in Ohio will be the decisive debate of the campaign.
Mr. Stephanopoulos’ anticipations seem to have come pretty close, although President Obama’s agenda remains pretty much the same:
On Wednesday the White House released President Obama’s detailed itinerary through October:
Maybe he had better worry even more. The big unions?
The AFL-CIO has told Washington Whispers it will redeploy funds away from political candidates smack dab in the middle of election season, the latest sign that the largest federation of unions in the country could be becoming increasingly disillusioned with President Obama.
The federation says the shift has been in the works for months, and had nothing to do with the president’s failure to show in Wisconsin last week, where labor unions led a failed recall election of Governor Scott Walker.
“We wanted to start investing our funds in our own infrastructure and advocacy,” AFL-CIO spokesman Josh Goldstein told Whispers. “There will be less contributions to candidates,” including President Obama. …
In a May speech at the National Press Club, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka threatened to reduce support for the Democratic party and launch “an independent labor movement” if Democrats didn’t more fully support the union agenda.
What could go wrong?
President Obama is no President Truman, by any wild stretch of the imagination; even President Obama has not (yet) claimed to be the reincarnation of “Give ‘en Hell, Harry!” However, President Truman was also down during the 1948 election campaign. He blamed a do-nothing Congress for the country’s problems, and that seems to be among President Obama’s current tactics, along with his race and “rich” vs. “poor” cards and attacks on “his definition” of Governor Romney’s plans to make the economy better as nothing more than what President Bush did. They could work but might not.
What one might call the blame gap has narrowed considerably: When Gallup first asked Americans in July 2009 whom they faulted for the poor economy, 80 percent laid a great deal or a moderate amount of blame on Bush, and only 32 percent held Obama responsible.
The current numbers show 68 percent of the public blames the former president while 52 percent say Obama deserves the criticism. (The numbers total more than 100 percent because the question was not “which one do you blame more,” but how much blame each president deserves individually.)
And on Wednesday, an ABC News/ Washington Post poll showed that only 38 percent of independent swing voters viewed Obama’s economic plans favorably, with a majority (54 percent) disapproving. But independent voters judge Romney’s economic ideas just as harshly: 47 percent gave his economic approach an unfavorable rating, with just 35 percent finding it favorable.
President Obama has given Governor Romney plenty of ammunition for the campaign; he may well be Governor Romney’s best campaign asset. President Obama listens but little to members of Congress, of either party, although his ear seems closely tuned to those who donate large amounts of money to his campaign.
He recently attended his 150th fundraiser. That’s more than the number attended by the last four presidents put together.
Obama has seen enough Architectural Digest–type interiors in Park Avenue triplexes and Beverly Hills mansions, and on the block in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights, where every house is owned by a billionaire, to develop an expertise in Louis XV walnut commodes and Brunschwig & Fils fabrics.
He’s also had plenty of chances to absorb the advice of the kind of rich liberals who like to give money to Democratic presidents. And the evidence that he has taken some of that advice is his initiatives on three issues, each of which involves serious political risk.
If the “big money liberals” in Hollywood and elsewhere reflect and drive voter sentiment, he might win; President Obama seems to think they do. At a New York celebrity fundraiser, he said “You’re the tie-breaker,” he said. “You’re the ultimate arbiter of which direction this country goes.” I hope and suspect that he is wrong.
Here is an excellent analysis of the symbiotic relationship between President Obama and Hollywood.
There is a mindset in Hollywood that they are the smart folks… the ones who tell you, the masses, what the world is really like. In their minds, without them you wouldn’t know the evils in the world nor would you realize how racist, homophobic, self-centered and ignorant you are.
The above combined with a kind of ZEN they subscribe to from being in control of all of their stories. After some time they begin to believe they are infallible. It is no wonder they subscribe to Socialism. As Hayek put it; it’s a fatal conceit.
Think about it for a moment… when you control the story your hero is always prescient. He knows the right answer and makes it, if he doesn’t then “the universe” steps in and magically makes it for him in order that the movie can get to the 220 minutes required of a full length film.
This is the world they live in… there is not a single item, occurrence or result that is not planned… successfully.
How about more positive stuff from Governor Romney about what can be made right with the country.
Despite all that he has going for him, Governor Romney could profit from more positive stuff. As noted here,
America is unique in many ways. Among them is our ability to produce all the food we need and much more, thanks to fracking technology we have the ability to be energy independent, and we have the ability and capacity to produce any products our citizens want or need at some price. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is for America to become energy independent no matter how low oil prices fall. And oil prices will continue to fall in spite of the desire of Hugo Chavez to see oil at $200 per barrel. If American starts down the road of energy independence and uses the royalties from production on federal lands to pay down our debt, if corporate taxes were reduced not to 25% but to 15% or less, if capital gains taxes and death taxes were reduced to zero, if all of our entitlement programs are reformed, and if the noose over regulation of our businesses was removed, the whole world would want to invest in America. America is in a unique position to lead the world to economic sanity. My dream includes putting an end to Federal Reserve notes and return to Treasury issued Silver Certificates; but that is probably more fantasy than dream. Will Romney and the Republicans make my dream come true? They could. They really could if they have the will to do it.
I agree that terminating the FED and returning to silver certificates are more fantasy than dream; they could well become nightmares. Still, the other ideas could work very well — if Governor Romney’s people crystallize each of them in persuasive campaign commercials. So far, they have been doing an excellent job.
(This article was also posted at Dan Miller’s Blog.)
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