The past two weeks have not been good to the president. The glory days of the 2008 campaign with its memorable theme of “Hope and Change” seem like scratchy newsreels from a bygone era. The enthusiasm his morale-boosting optimism induced now resembles many of the nation’s storefronts – vacant.
As Barack Obama surveys the landscape of an America he must now take full responsibility for, he sees a Congress as badly divided as post-Civil War days. His first two years of social legislation that could not be successfully challenged in Congress with his huge majority, has wilted after a thunderous voter backlash last November. His almost total disengagement from the leaders in Congress left theM adrift and woefully chaotic.
Many political pundits pointed out in 2008 Obama’s tremendous liability would be his lack of close personal political relationships in Washington. No room to pressure others into supporting his postions as a virtual stranger within a fraternity of career politicians.
His once fire and brimstone speeches addressing the need to raise the nations’s quality of life while bringing hope to millions of the less fortunate is now mired in endless government deficit debate, threatened shutdowns of government and political discourse from his most liberal supporters who feel abandoned.
The bipartisan “super committee” selected by Congress to break last summer’s gridlock on the nation’s deficit spending seem hopelessly deadlocked in their individual positions. There is no consensus among them to invite the president to intervene since none of them are on record envisioning his influence as relevant.
The campaign dollars grow thinner as these problems fester and grow. The small donors of his first campaign now sit on the sidelines and watch the parade go by. Many have little or no money to give as many have lost their job or fear they will soon. Ten dollars is now seen as disposable income that now must pay next month’s rent.
The polls continue to show a rapid decline into the low forties or high thirties. What began last spring as a lively and competitive re-election race is turning into a “anyone but Obama” political funeral.
What were key factors in the president’s 2008 victory, the African-Americans (95 percent of their vote), Hispanic and Jewish voters now need extraordinary presidential attention. These voting blocs should be traditional slam dunk supporters at this stage of his re-election bid. A special Chicago staff has been organized to whip up their enthusiasm taking away valuable manpower for more crucial areas of the electorate. .
African-Americans have been the most surprising problem. They strongly feel Obama has ignored them. That perception can be seen in the extraordinarily high unemployment numbers of blacks compared to other ethnic groups. His speech the other day urging them to “stop complaining, take off their slippers …,” did little to silence their frustrations as his most ardent supporters.
Now Obama has called for a new jobs bill in the wake of the stimulus-driven, government guaranteed loan of the now bankrupted Solyndra Solar Panels. As the FBI and other federal agencies investigate the loss of over $525 million taxpayer dollars in a government boondoggle, supported by the Energy Department and the White House, the president wants an additional $450 million for “job creation.”
Wasn’t that what the $850 billion first stimulus was supposed to do?
The understandable skepticism of Congress and Obama’s three-year track record of ever-growing deficits make passage of the bill unlikely. In fact, two weeks after his special session of Congress speech, the bill has yet to be officially filed in Washington. No one is quite sure where he plans to get the money aside from his murky threats to make the rich “pay their fair share.”
An increasingly desperate commander-in-chief is now resorting to a familiar theme of taxing the richest Americans among us. A tried and true tactic used since the French Revolution to rally less fortunate Americans while removing personal blame for a stagnant economy. Create a common enemy that can be held responsible for the last three years of record unemployment and job losses.
Obama’s biggest nightmare is now the once adoring media. They are now showing evidence of disillusion and “Obama burnout” through tougher editorials and detailed pieces on White House policy. Even his most ardent supporters are now beginning to recognize what a one-term Obama presidency will mean to the cause they cherish above anything else – liberalism.
Times are tough for President Obama. By all indications economic indicators, unemployment will remain sky high and the economy is unlikely to rebound significantly by November, 2012. Unlike Bill Clinton, who suffered major losses in the 1994 midterm elections, he was politically astute enough to move to the center. It appears this president is more concerned with reviving his failed ideology than being re-elected.
The hour grows late for any miracles.
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