Seeking to ease international tensions, Obama met directly with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Ahmadinejad insisted that the Israeli government grant a contiguous state to the Hamas-run Palestinian government, including full control of both its borders and East Jerusalem. Assad insisted that Israel concede the Golan Heights. Obama agreed with the general thrust of the demands, and suggested that the Iranian and Syrian proposals be included in a new "roadmap," to be administered by the United States, France, Russia, China and Britain. Israel has, so far, protested the plan, pointing to the continuing mass terrorism sponsored by Iran and Syria, including the use of crude chemical weaponry.
On the domestic front, the economic downturn precipitated in 2007 by the subprime housing crisis has deepened and widened. Obama's push for higher capital gains taxes and estate taxes has been associated with stagnation in the stock market and continued recession in the real estate market, along with lower government tax receipts. To combat those lowered receipts, and in anticipation of Social Security funding shortages, Obama has raised income taxes on everyone making more than $40,000 per year.
Gov. Palin has pointed at both Obama's economic policies and his sponsorship of the "Card Check" plan in attacking Obama on the economy. The "Card Check" plan, which discarded secret ballots in union elections, caused union membership to double within the last four years. It has also created higher rates of unemployment. Unemployment currently hovers at about 10 percent, higher than any time during the Bush or Clinton Administrations.
To ease unemployment, Obama has pushed for higher benefits and fewer restrictions on length of dependence. He has also pushed his signature Make Work Program, a measure aimed at increasing employment rates through government jobs.
As the leading architect and advocate for the Health Care For All Act through Congress in 2009, President Obama has been blamed for a shortage of incoming doctors and the unavailability of high-quality medical care.
Gov. Palin, who just four years ago was considered by many to be too rough-hewn to make a serious run for the White House, has taken control of the presidential race. The RealClearPolitics poll average puts her up 7.3 points leading into tomorrow's election.
"This race isn't over until it's over," President Obama told a small crowd in Nevada yesterday. "Four years ago, I asked you to join me in changing the world. We've changed the world, and we're not done yet."