Donald Lambro

WASHINGTON -- Would you vote for a president seeking re-election with annual economic growth stalled at a feeble 1.3 percent, unemployment and underemployment at 14.7 percent, and no plan to get America moving again?

Would you vote for him if he had presided over a deficit-spending binge that ran up four yearly budget deficits well over $1 trillion and whose party in the Senate has refused to pass a budget in the last three years?

Would you vote for an incumbent who offered the voters no specific legislative agenda indicating what he hoped to achieve by 2017 if given another four-year term?

Would you vote for him, even though his campaign ads said nothing -- and I mean, absolutely nothing -- about the length of the nation's still historically high unemployment rate; declining median income that's 8 percent lower than in 2007; 46 million Americans living in poverty, the highest in two decades; an estimated 3.5 million people who are homeless, including 1.5 million children; and a record 46 million Americans on food stamps?

Home foreclosure starts grew this summer by 16 percent on a yearly basis, and 2.42 million people were delinquent 60 days or more on their mortgage payments.

Yet despite this bleak economic, fiscal and social record, 47 percent of likely voters say they'll vote for him anyway, according to the Gallup Poll. Its head-to-head voter survey shows former governor Mitt Romney leading him by just 2 points at 49 percent.

But how does one explain the closeness of this election when Obama has failed to deliver on his most important campaign promises: Reduce unemployment to 6 percent, raise middle-class incomes, get our manufacturing base really growing again, and cut the budget deficit in half in four years? The stark reality of his presidential record shows he has failed on every one of these and other promises.

After nearly four years of his presidency, this still is the slowest and weakest economic recovery since the Great Depression. Economic growth over his term has averaged 2.2 percent.

While the jobless rate fell slightly below 8 percent last month, the decline was mostly due to millions of adults who were forced to take lower-paying, part-time work. Take into account millions of discouraged, long-term unemployed Americans who've stopped looking for work and therefore are not counted in the unemployment column, and presto, unemployment declines. Pretty clever, huh?

Obama doesn't talk about the underemployed, largely middle-class Americans in his stump speeches, nor do the the network news shows, which spend far more time on "infotainment" stories while ignoring the suffering of millions of Americans who are hurting as a result of his anti-growth, anti-job policies.

Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.