Donald Lambro

WASHINGTON - President Obama has officially begun his 2012 campaign, telling special interest groups what the government will do for them if he is re-elected to a second term.

But the question many people are asking is, what else is he running on besides government handouts? What's his second term agenda? What is he planning to do if he wins? He doesn't say.

There is no hint of a grand plan of action dealing with the mountain of unfinished problems he's left behind in the nation's capital as he piles up frequent flyer miles in hot pursuit of his singular goal: becoming a two term president.

His campaign rhetoric thus far gives us no clue that he intends to address the big problems that still need to be fixed. He knows what they are, because polls tell us what America's primary concerns are: a lackluster, slow-growth, sub-par economy, far too few jobs; a monster $1.2 trillion budget deficit, the fourth of his big spending presidency, and a $16 trillion debt by the end of this year.

But Obama isn't talking about a mediocre economy that appears to be slowing down -- again.

And he isn't talking about jobs, or bemoaning the fact that many college grads -- who this week he promised an extension of low interest student loans -- can't find a job that will allow them to pay back the government.

As for the student loan extension Obama is pushing on the campaign trail, it's interesting to note that in 2007 then-Sen. Obama missed two pivotal Senate votes on the bill that created the program.

He's embracing it now because he needs the support of younger voters to save his presidency, but he did not vote for the original bill or on final passage, and didn't bother to sign on as a co- sponsor, according to a report Tuesday by Politico.

This week he was speaking at universities in North Carolina, Colorado and Iowa to champion extending the loan program. Maybe a student will ask him why he didn't take the time to vote for it in the first place?

But let's not trifle over small matters. He was too busy running for president in 2007 to be bothered with student loans and fulfilling his job as a senator for which he was paid $174,000 a year. Let's move on to other matters.

How about more than $5.3 trillion in four consecutive budget deficits. What deficits? The national debt? What debt? No one cares about those issues, do they?

Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.