Thank You, Mr. President, That’s Enough. Next!
Going into the first presidential debate, I had already determined that on Election Day my vote would be cast for Mitt Romney. I put on Obama’s rose-colored glasses in 2008, but have since removed them from my face and thrown them in the dumpster.
In 2008, I was an Obama guy. I debated with friends and family about electing Barack over the John and Sarah duo. In 2012, however, I see that we clearly need to remodel the Oval Office with a new man behind the desk—someone with good ideas to manage a sharp turn.
What changed? How did my Obama sentiments evolve from oh-so-happy-he-won to, well, next please!?
After studying his weak performance at last night’s debate, I had to dig a little to resolve my question to myself: What did I ever see in Barack Obama?
I found my answers in the first presidential debate of 2008.
In the face of a tsunami-like financial crisis, Obama promised us a fresh change to solve the nation’s ills. “We have to move swiftly and we have to move wisely,” he said. “I’ve put forward a series proposals that make sure that we protect taxpayers as we engage in this important rescue effort.” That sounded reassuring.
He reached out his promises of hope to the struggling homeowners and the pinched middle-class. “We have to make sure that we’re helping homeowners,” he said. “The root problem here has to do with the foreclosures that are taking place all across the country.” Has the rate of home foreclosures declined in the last four years? Was the “root problem” appropriately addressed?
“The fundamentals of the economy have to be measured by whether or not the middle-class is getting a fair shake. That is why I am running for president.” Interesting! Mitt Romney used a very similar line in his final argument of the debate last week. It appears the middle-class is still waiting for the fair shake it was promised in 2008.
In President Obama’s first two years of office with a Democratic-controlled House and Senate, the already stark political climate quickly shifted to downright hostile. The base of the Republican Party moved to the right to counter the liberal shift. How could the middle class get a fair shake when the political divide escalated to zero cooperation across the aisle? Certainly President Obama can’t take all the blame for the horrid standstill in American government. As its executive leader, though, his job is to get things done. This requires working across party lines. In direct response to his poor leadership, the 2010 election saw Republicans gaining 63 seats in the House and six seats in the Senate.
In the early summer of last year, President Obama demonstrated how passive aggressive leadership can take our nation around in circles going nowhere. I realized how critical this election would be to boot him from the White House when the Federal Government was facing an August 2 deadline of defaulting on its debt. Obama refused to meet or negotiate with House Republicans and instead held press conferences to threaten the public that the 80 million Americans depending on benefit payments would have to go without…Sorry senior citizens, we can’t afford to give you Social Security anymore.
In the obvious political ploy, perhaps the President was hoping that the frenzy he caused would lead to a mob of old folks with pitchforks attacking the House of Representatives. Apparently, that strategy seemed more logical than sitting down and discussing a solution to a disagreement over lunch. Here Mr. President, take this package of Pull-Ups and go be a big boy now.
Obama’s message in the 2008 debate did not match up with his behavior in 2011. “We have to eliminate programs that do not work, and make sure that the programs we have are more efficient and cost less,” he said. “Because of the economy’s slowing down, I think we can also expect less tax revenue so there is no doubt that as president I’m going to have to make some tough decisions.” Hmm. Mr. President, would you consider your decision to take this decreased tax revenue you mention and then to raise the national debt by a trillion a year a difficult call to make?
“We have got to grow the economy from the bottom up,” Obama said in 2008. “One of the things that I intend to do as president is to restore America’s standing in the world.” Instead, our credit rating has declined. America’s standing in the world has not been restored. The economy has not grown from the bottom up. Small businesses have been hurt under this Administration’s policies, not helped.
In 2012, I am choosing Romney/Ryan. If you voted for Barack Obama in 2008, I invite you to make the clear choice this election.