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article imageOp-Ed: U.S. presidential politics boils down to one question

article:333476:11::0
By Larry Clifton     Sep 24, 2012 in Politics
Washington - President Obama has been in office nearly four years and the economy is worse than when he was elected. But Mr. Obama is yet to articulate how he would make things better for average Americans if they grant him a second term.
That's a big headache for an incumbent. Usually, during an unstable economy, incumbents tout their foreign policy successes, but as this administration turns into the election homestretch, the book "foreign policy successes" reads more like a paragraph.
Mr. Obama had the Osama bin Laden killing to brag about, and he certainly exploited the event, down to presenting White House photos of Mr. Obama and aides expressing their concern during a live video feed of Navy Seal Team Six conducting the operation.
However, since then, the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three American staff members were murdered by terrorists, the Middle East is ablaze, including attacks on various U.S. Embassies, U.S./Israeli relations have never been poorer and Iran is putting the final touches on its nuclear ambitions. Similarly, the Afghanistan War is a nightmare, with coalition troops being assassinated by Afghan "insiders. "Hardly a sound resume for reelection.
Foreign policy along U.S. borders isn’t much better. The “Fast and Furious” failed government gunrunning operation has inflamed Mexican/ American relations and led to the death of an American Border Patrol agent. In four years, Obama never really tried to pass immigration reform and his administration has sued border-states for enforcing their immigration laws while failing to enforce identical federal immigration laws.
Meanwhile, Mr. Obama’s signature accomplishment, health care overhaul, has failed to slow down the runaway costs of health care while taking $700 billion from Medicare to fund the President’s bill, and people are realizing that the only thing difference is they have fewer services and choices and face a big tax should they not buy an available health insurance policy.
The economy, where Obama is most vulnerable, has stalled again, with unemployment stuck over 8 percent and a string of fresh disappointing 2012 jobs reports on voters’ minds. While high unemployment is bad enough, the price of gas at the pump is closing in on $4 per gallon, again, as U.S. dependency of imported crude has increased.
However many families, especially, moms, who do most of the grocery shopping, are having to choose between groceries and gas, since food prices are also rising sharply across the U.S.
At the same time, a third rail of the electorate, the U.S. deficit, has increased by more than $5.5 trillion for a total of $16 trillion under Mr. Obama’s administration. The U.S. deficit has never increased so rapidly during American history.
In the waning weeks before U.S. presidential elections, Mr. Obama can take some comfort from friendly major polling that has him and opponent Mitt Romney about even.
To be sure, the election is Obama’s to lose. He has a friendly media, unlimited use of Air Force One and can create news on a moment’s notice with a call to the media.
But during the next six weeks, voters will ask themselves a simple question:
Am I better off after four years of the Obama administration?
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 DigitalJournal.com
article:333476:11::0
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