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article imageOp-Ed: President Obama's campaign adrift

By Larry Clifton     Apr 20, 2012 in Politics
Mitt Romney pulled ahead or even with incumbent President Barack Obama within a week of putting to rest his own bruising primary fights with Rick Santorum and other Republicans.
Mr. Obama’s inability to use his presidential bully pulpit and sweeping executive powers to energize his campaign is stark evidence that his administration’s record overshadows his Republican war-on-this-and-that campaign message.
While decidedly left and right voters know how they will vote in November, most major polls suggest Independents are inching away from Obama. Now that Americans better understand the change he had in mind during the 2008 campaign, the political dynamics at play then are working against the president in 2012.
Long before the 2012 election season arrived, Mr. Obama had a filibuster-proof 60-seat majority in the Senate and it seemed former Speaker Nancy Pelosi was eager to push anything he remotely suggested through the House, as was Senate leader Harry Reid. Obama managed to push through two costly pieces of major legislation, a giant stimulus spending bill and the Affordable Health Care Act – neither a bipartisan hit with the American people.
When Obama had political winds at his back and a stacked deck in Washington, he and Senate Democrats failed to pass a national budget, let alone slow down runaway deficit spending. Today, Obama still doesn't support significant cuts in spending and the Democrat-controlled Senate has stalled out.
Since most polls show that most Americans don’t approve of Obama’s twin legislative legacies, it should be no surprise that Independents are seeking change they can believe in elsewhere.
After the 2,700-page Affordable Health Care Act dubbed Obamacare was passed so that we could see what was in it and a trillion-dollar Stimulus Bill turned into a behemoth government slush fund, major polls clearly indicated that Americans believed the country was headed in the wrong direction. Today, those numbers “strongly” suggest the country is adrift.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is set to decide whether Obamacare should be struck down as unconstitutional law and jobs numbers and unemployment figures suggest the 2009 so called “economic recovery” has stalled. Many Americans don’t want Obama’s brand of change and still more fear the economic uncertainty such change has wrought.
War on this and that proves divisive
With just over six months until elections, Mr. Obama seems focused on creating straw man arguments for his re-election which seem to backfire more often than not.
For example, when Mr. Obama and his operatives attempted to persuade women that Republicans were conducting a war against them, a Democrat strategist who made 35 trips to the White House in the past three years publically proclaimed Ann Romney “has never worked a day in her life.” In reality, Ann Romney raised five sons, is a cancer survivor and battles Multiple Sclerosis. The White House was forced to tamp down its “war on women” theme.
Another straw man argument is Mr. Obama’s personal attack on Romney’s success in private enterprises. Since the role of government is essentially to provide infrastructure, national security and promote commerce in the private sector, discounting the achievement of wealth as a “silver spoon” makes the President seem petty and more out of touch than Romney whatever his fortune.
Perhaps Mr. Obama's reference of political opponents as his “enemies” best exemplifies the corrosive nature of his campaign, if not his ideological rigidity.
It is the President who seems to be at war with too many Americans. Mr. Obama has conducted a sort of war against everything from big banks, big oil, and big business to “the rich, all the while doling out billions in tax dollars to many of these very people and industries.
Meanwhile, Mr. Obama failed to declare war on deficit spending. He has nibbled around the rhetorical edge to score a few political points by producing a budget that not one member of the House, Democrat or Republican, would vote for.
The House of Representatives, under Republicans, at least passed a budget. The Democrat-controlled Senate hasn’t done so in 3 years, and refuses to do so until after the election.
Mr. Obama doesn’t seem to have any problem with that, which is exactly his problem.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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