Tuesday, 1 November 2011


Real Clear Politics poll of polls shows Obama with a 44% approval rating, a far cry from June 2009, when he was polling in the mid to high 60’s.

Yet there’s a real possibility that Barack Obama can be re-elected in 2012. Yes, his poll numbers are poor, yes the unemployment rate will stay around 8-9%, yes the deficit has increased under his watch (more than the previous 43 Presidents COMBINED!) and yes his HealthCare bill is unconstitutional and wildly ostracized. However, he has one thing in his favour; he has the office of the President of United States at his disposal. He can decide when to look Presidential; he can decide to issue an executive order, or, instruct someone to kill some terrorist in Afghanistan. In doing so, he can then divert the electorate’s attention from whatever the current ‘buzz’ is. It doesn’t accomplish much in the long run, but it does change news cycles during a campaign.

However Let’s Compare and Contrast:

“With the magnitude of the challenges we face right now, what we need in Washington are not more political tactics -- we need more good ideas. We don't need more point-scoring -- we need more problem-solving”.

Barack Obama

“There is no limit to what a man can do, or where he can go, if he doesn’t mind who gets the credit”.

Ronald Reagan

I know one thing, if Obama adopted the Reagan quote / philosophy; we wouldn’t be in the mess that we find ourselves in today. If he did what Bill Clinton did in the 1990’s he would be a shoo-in for re-election.

After the mid-terms in 1994, the GOP took over the House of Representatives and proposed to enact fundamental reforms to the country. (President) Clinton originally vehemently detested the idea as it meant shrinking the size of government, promoting a lower tax rate, which is everything he was against. However, the GOP fought tooth and nail (including a shutdown of the government) to get these reforms in place. Eventually Clinton realised that if he didn’t move to the ‘right’, then he would be clobbered in the 1996 general elections. So, Clinton worked with the GOP to partially enact some of these reforms and largely took credit for them. Consequently he won re-election in 1996 by a huge margin, the GOP maintained their hold in Congress, but more importantly, the country was moving forward (until Lewinsky).

The same should have happened after the 2010 midterm elections. Obama had two years of his liberal agenda to do whatever he wanted, he focused on HealthCare, increased deficit spending, overregulation and income redistribution aka Socilasm. His doctrine was proving to be terrible; the unemployment rate skyrocketed, the deficit was increasing, markets collapsing throughout the world, banks failing and more and more people were distrusting him on the Economy. That apathy from the voters resulted in a huge midterm election defeat for the President. His party lost control of the House of Representatives and their majority in the Senate shrunk alarmingly.
After such a repudiation, you would expect the President to accept the will of the people and start working with the GOP leadership to get this Economy moving again. Alas that never happened, he hasn’t compromised on one thing. He is stubborn, played partisan politics and is largely the reason why there is continued gridlock in Washington DC. This makes his remarks all in the State of the Union (27th Jan 2010) all the more astounding:

"What the American people hope -– what they deserve -– is for all of us, Democrats and Republicans, to work through our differences; to overcome the numbing weight of our politics. For while the people who sent us here have different backgrounds, different stories, different beliefs, the anxieties they face are the same. The aspirations they hold are shared: a job that pays the bills; a chance to get ahead; most of all, the ability to give their children a better life".

Yet In spite of all of his failings, he still has a reasonable shot of wining in 2012. Trying to dislodge an incumbent from office takes a lot of doing.
The focus of the electorate may change from now to Election day.
At the moment its all about the Economy but it could change instantly. Remember, (President) Bush 43 was struggling in the polls until Osama Bin Laden addressed the world, people then remembered about 9/11 and the dangers we faced and moved back into the Bush column.
McCain and Palin were up by 3 points against Obama until the financial meltdown in 2008.

We now have almost a year until the 2012 General Election. Obama and I will agree on this: 'it ain't over until it's over'.

No comments: