A few weeks ago, I wouldn't have made this prediction, but with only days to go before the election, I'm confident Mitt Romney will be the next president of the United States. My conviction has as much to do with my faith in the American people as it does my belief in Gov. Romney.
Don't get me wrong, I think Gov. Romney is exactly what we need to get the economy out of the mess it's in and will make a very good president. But what I'm really counting on Election Day is the common sense of Americans to recognize they made a bad bargain in 2008.
Barack Obama promised Hope and Change in 2008. Now he wants us to look Forward in 2012, which is just another way of saying 'don't look back on what I've accomplished -- or failed to -- in my first term.'
The two big accomplishments the president can point to over the last four years are a wholesale revision of the U.S. health system and the killing of Osama bin Laden. The first is highly unpopular with the American people, for good reason. It will degrade the overall quality of healthcare and make it more expensive for those who currently have coverage.
And his attempts to take credit for the second accomplishment has been more than a bit unseemly. From his first announcement of bin Laden's killing to his use of the issue on the campaign trail, he's always given himself the lion's share of the credit instead of the brave Navy Seals who risked their lives on the ground. He mentioned himself and his direct involvement five times in 11 lines of his address announcing the killing before he got to a single mention of the Seals' action. And it's been more of the same self-serving rhetoric on campaign stops.
But it's what President Obama hasn't accomplished in the last four years that will make the difference Nov. 6. Despite nearly a trillion dollar federal stimulus package, he's done nothing to bring back jobs to the U.S. economy. With at least one in twelve workers unemployed -- and a greater proportion if you count those who have had to accept part-time jobs at much lower pay -- virtually every voter is either personally affected or knows someone who is. They've given this president almost four years to fix it, and he hasn't.
It's true the president doesn't control the U.S. economy. But any administration and Congress can play a significant role in either depressing economic growth or encouraging it. And the president has done the first, not the latter.
Linda Chavez is chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity and author of Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics .
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