Let us not be so short in memory that we forget the 2008 elections. By the media’s account the presidential race was to be a heated battle between Rudy Giuliani and Hilary Clinton, as if there were no other candidates. However, from the flanks rose our current Head of State, Barack Obama.
Even if the person who defeats President Obama is among the crowded field today in the form of a Romney, Daniels, or even a Pawlenty, the 2012 election won’t even be about them. I’m serious.
This race is all about the resurging Obama who has gained much political and global currency for planning the bold and audacious maneuvers that successfully killed the most wanted terrorist in the world, Osama Bin Laden . Before his presidency was revived in the last 48 hours he was seriously weak politically, and if current trends had continued, his brand and stock would have continuously fallen. Let us still remember that gas prices are $4/gallon We are faced with plummeting dollar? Borrowing 35 cents on every dollar we spend? That’s only the beginning folks. Unless this White House can build lasting momentum from killing Osama and put some significant punch back into this economy, Obama will lose the election. Remember, Americans have a short term memory for military success, especially when the economy continues it's downward spiral. Let's not forget the first Bush incredible ratings after desert storm, which dissipated and eventually Bush lost his reelection bid. For now this miraculous military victory has given our nation a much needed moral booster, for which the president can claim credit.
I’m not saying it won’t be a fistfight. It definitely will be. Obama’s campaign is gearing up for one helluva contest. Media buyers are already predicting this election cycle to tip the $2 billion scale in terms of ad buys and placements in the next 18 months. Yep, that’s “billion” with a “b.”
A GOP candidate will emerge, and he will be battle-hardened from a rigorous primary that will force him all over the Republican spectrum. You can bet on that. But the less this is about personalities and the more it’s about the direction of the country and the principles that the Obama White House has made clear it owns (larger government, paternalistic nannyism), then the more voters will be galvanized into sending a clear message.
And that is where I fear the Obama political team is tone deaf. Folks aren’t visiting town halls of Republicans to complain about draconian cuts. They’re coming to gripe the majority party isn’t cutting enough. The Democrats aren’t listening.
This is a seminal moment in our nation’s understanding of fiscal policy. Because of the Great Recession and the continuing mass foreclosures, the billions and trillions are starting to matter. The numbers are no longer "just on paper", meaningless terms hidden beneath legalese and technical jargon. They are real. The impact is tangible and plain to see, the fear is there and it’s palpable. Americans have watched their friends and families suffer the consequences of a Wall Street meltdown and are starting to sort out in their own minds what a bankrupt nation could mean to them and their futures.
When will this Administration grasp that? How many more houses must foreclose? How many more businesses must fail? How many more people must lose their livelihoods before someone on the President’s economic team realizes these policies are a joke? Something needs to be done, and it needs to be done right away.
19 months out is not the time to worry about who will rise up from among the GOP and assume his or her rightful place in the presidential pantheon, there’s plenty of time for that. If our country doesn’t get on the right track in very short order it will not even matter who is or is not our president. We will be fighting for our survival domestically in the United States and especially in terms of the global economy.
From my own perspective, I’m more interested in seeing how much farther down this road of disrepair the current administration will take us. Obama is his and this country's own worst enemy right now, and if the past is any indication of the future then Republicans would do well to get out of his way and let him continue to ruin himself.