and more of his once ardent supporters are turning away from Barack Obama. They
no longer recognize the man who once inspired them. And why should they support
someone barely distinguishable from a moderate Republican - whether the issue
is one of environmental and energy policy, tax legislation or how to deal with
Just looking at his opponents
should dispel any worries Barack
Obama may have about being re-elected in 2012. Texas Governor Rick Perry and inexperienced
Bachmann are frightening voters with their archconservative ideology.
Candidate number three, Mormon Mitt Romney, has no
distinguishing characteristics. And former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is coyly
refusing to say whether or not she'll be running. However,
if this week's poll numbers carry through to Election Day, the results
for the president will be worse than ever before.
Today, Obama must use his long-awaited
speech on the state of the economyto launch a
counterattack. For the man in the White House, it is high time for a change in
direction. The recent unemployment figures are disastrous. The prospect of an economic
recovery in time for next year's election dwindles with each passing day. In
desperation, the U.S. president now wants to announce another economic stimulus
package. Obama wants to pump an additional $300 to $400 billion into the
economy before the election. He would like to extend existing cuts in Social
Security contributions. In addition, he plans more funding for infrastructure
projects - and emergency aid for the states could help lessen the impact of
state budget cuts.
But many of his proposals aren't
worth the paper they're printed on. The Republicans will block any new expenditures.
Only tax cuts - considered by economists to be particularly costly while at the
same time, being the least effective policy measures - stand a chance of passing.
Just a few weeks ago during the U.S. debt ceiling debate, there was talk of nothing
but savings. During that debate, it seemed that Obama struggled to keep up when
Republicans introduced the keyword “savings.” And now he's again talking about
spending money. There is no clear sense of direction. Since he took office,
Obama has been lurching from crisis to crisis - a task which admittedly, could
overwhelm even the most talented politician. But Obama is not just a victim of
circumstance. The man whose eloquence was once praised has lost his political
The U.S. president has been
trying to govern a polarized country from the center. Instead of fighting, he has
continued to offer Republicans new compromises in the hope of being viewed as a
“reconciler” who stands above partisan politics. Instead of directly attacking the
obstructionists in the opposition ranks, Obama speaks vaguely about the
“failure of Washington.” One has to give the U.S. president credit for the fact
that he made no promises beforehand. But hardly anyone remembers The
Audacity of Hope, the book published during the early phase of his
candidacy. Several hundred pages are filled with a series of soft-focus
phrases, neither provocative nor inspiring to anyone, about middle road beyond party
differences. Later on, the campaign merely papered over this rhetoric of hope. But
as a bridge builder, the president has now failed.
More and more of his once
ardent supporters are turning away from Barack Obama. They no longer recognize
the man who once inspired them. And why should they support someone barely
distinguishable from a moderate Republican - whether the issue is one of
environmental and energy policy, tax legislation or how to deal with Wall
Street? He wasn't even able to assert himself when it came to enforcing his
preferred date for a speech before both Houses of Congress. The president was
coolly rebuffed by Republican House Speaker John Boehner.
But in the U.S., expectations
for presidential speeches are low. Almost no one believes that appearing before
Congress will give the president the popularity boost he so urgently needs. According
to columnist Maureen O'Dowd, who is usually an Obama sympathizer, Obama has
too much faith in the power of his words: He thinks, “that he can come down
from the mountain, read from a teleprompter, cast a magic spell with his words,
and climb back up the mountain.”
Time isn't on Obama's side.
At this point in his first term during the 1990s, Democratic President Bill Clinton,
who had also been subjected to a heavy political battering, was already on the
road to recovery. But so far, Barack Obama appears to lack not only Clinton's
tactical cleverness for forging political compromise, but also his ability to
satisfy the emotional needs of voters. During a crisis, people don't want to be
reminded of lukewarm political reasoning, but prefer backbone, fighting spirit
and assertiveness. Even a large stimulus package won't be enough to convincingly
demonstrate such qualities.
Help Support Worldmeets.us
Worldmeets.us is a non-partisan, volunteer-based, not-for-profit organization that operates solely in the public interest. The opinions expressed in articles posted by Worldmeets.us are not necessarily those of Worldmeets.us, its sponsors or its volunteers.