Skip to comments.The Election Should Be All About Barack Obama’s Record
Posted on 04/26/2012 12:58:16 PM PDT by Kaslin
Three likely stark reminders of just how bad it is will arrive just before Election Day.
On April 13, at Swampland, a blog at what’s left of Time magazine, Joe Klein took Bill Galston at the New Republic to task for daring to write that Barack Obama’s successful reelection will be difficult “if the people dont approve of his record.”
That’s about as non-controversial as it gets — but not for good ol’ Joe, who called Galston’s assertion “political science mythology.” Klein proceeded to offer three elections (2008, 1988, and 1976) which supposedly showed that a president’s record in office doesn’t matter. Readers can and should be forgiven for wondering why he chose those three campaigns, given that none of them involved incumbents seeking reelection.
In the interest of bringing Klein up to speed, let me remind him of three of the four most obvious relatively recent instances when the incumbent president’s record was of the utmost importance (the fourth is Bill Clinton’s defeat of Bush 41 in 1992, which was built on Clinton’s lie about “the worst economy in the past 50 years,” Bush’s breaking of his “no new taxes pledge,” and, most critically, the quixotic candidacy of Ross Perot).
In 1980, Jimmy Carter was seeking reelection against challenger Ronald Reagan. Carter’s administration was busily producing inflation, unemployment, and high interest rates all at once, a trifecta once thought impossible. It wasn’t the “killer rabbit” that did Carter in, just as it won’t be Obama’s youthful penchant for eating dog meat; it was the brutal economy. Despite a third-party effort by John Anderson which probably pulled more votes away from Reagan than Carter, Reagan won in a landslide.
In 1984, Reagan was the incumbent. All the Gipper needed to do to win against the hapless Walter Mondale was:
What resulted was a 49-state Electoral College rout.
In 2004, George W. Bush sought reelection against John Kerry. While the challenger had many shortcomings, not the least of which was his failure to remember who was president in December 1968 (Kerry referenced something said by Dick Nixon, but the president at the time was still lame duck Lyndon Baines Johnson, making his “Christmas in Cambodia” story an obvious fable), the election was really about Bush’s record on the economy, his prosecution of the Iraq War, and his progress in the overall War on Terror. The country was very divided on the matter, but Bush prevailed.
So while it would be nice from Joe Klein’s (and Barack Obama’s) perspective if the 2012 campaign were about, oh, I don’t know, Obama’s well-recited movie introductions, Michelle Obama’s frequent TV appearances, and their kids’ vacations (oops, we’re not allowed to talk about that), the 2012 campaign – like it or not, guys — will be primarily about what Obama has and hasn’t done during his first term.
The central problem with Barack Obama’s presidential record is that it is chock full of records — almost all of them painful, harmful, or both. What follows are just a few of them, focusing in the interest of space on the economy and the federal government’s finances.
Most trillion-dollar annual deficits rung up (as well as the only ones): 4.
The deficit during the last eight months of the fiscal year which ended on September 30, 2009, the first eight full months of Obama’s presidency, was $1.02 trillion. That was followed by full fiscal-year deficits of just under $1.3 trillion in 2010 and 2011. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that fiscal 2012′s full-year deficit will be $1.2 trillion. Unless David Axelrod’s Ministry of Information Management (otherwise known as the Obama For America campaign) intervenes, the Treasury Department will release final results for fiscal 2012 in mid-October, right in the middle of early voting and about three weeks before Election Day.
Most consecutive months of seasonally adjusted unemployment above 8%: 38, and counting.
Every single full month of Obama’s presidency has seen an unemployment rate at least that high. Other related records are far too numerous to specifically mention, but there is no reasonable doubt that the pain inflicted on the long-term unemployed during the barely noticeable to non-existent recovery has been far more severe than at any time since the Great Depression, and markedly worse than what we saw for a relatively brief time during the early 1980s. The recent surge in jobless claims and March’s disappointing job creation make it fairly likely that the unemployment rate won’t fall below 8% before Election Day — and even if it does, the shocking shrinkage in the workforce during Obama’s term will render such a result completely unimpressive.
Unless it also gets the ax from Axelrod, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will issue the October employment report on November 2, the Friday before Election Day.
Number of post-recession quarters required for a post-World War II economy to return to its pre-recession size: 9.
Believe it or not, the previous record was three. And since Obama’s best buddy these days seems to be Warren Buffett, I should note that based on the personal benchmark of the billion-dollar ower of Omaha, we’re far from achieving a true recovery, which he defines as when “real per capita GDP gets back to where it was before.”
The government’s last report on economic growth will arrive on October 26; I don’t think David Axelrod will have the nerve to try to delay that one, no matter what it says. That’s eleven days before Election Day. There’s no good reason to believe it will be anywhere near the 4%-plus annualized growth needed for meaningful job creation coming out of a recession (or in this case, out of a barely noticeable to non-existent recovery). Forecasts for full-year growth in 2012 tell us that attaining even the 3% needed to claim anything resembling acceptability will be difficult.
No president since World War II has a poorer record of economic and fiscal stewardship than Barack Obama. The frightening tax hikes on the horizon for January 2013, increases he will almost certainly allow to take effect once he’s reelected, will make his first term seem like a picnic. His only hope appears to be to pretend that it’s 1936 and, as Franklin Delano Roosevelt did that year, make the election about demonizing the successful and convincing the disengaged that it is noble to confiscate and redistribute their income and wealth.
The world has changed quite a bit in the past 76 years, and a president’s ability to hide the truth from the public is nowhere near what it was when FDR reigned supreme but presided over a tragically underperforming economy. But I wouldn’t rule out Obama’s ability to successfully play the envy and class warfare cards. Heaven help the American people if a majority of us let him get away with it.
You are correct but, sadly, it’s going to be about Romney’s too.
The Obamamedia controls what the discussion is.
I voted for Santorum in our primary. What are you going to do, write him in? He got out of the race as you know
I had a thought the other day...now I am nearly 60 years old, and I have known a lot of differant kinds of folks. Weak, strong, loud, quiet, honest ones and cheats...all types. I really think that if it becomes obvious that Opie is going to lose, he will begin to break down. I will not be surprised to see him cry, beg, and plead for another term. He has never had life knock him to his knees and had to get back up and risk another rap in the teeth. IE: live as most of the rest of us have. I believe he won’t be able to help himself, and when faced with a very public defeat he will crumble. It will be sad to watch.
Obama’s record is meaningless -— don’t you know that Romney’s a Mormon?
Not any more.
EVERY SINGLE ISSUE which conservatives HAD,
is negated by the Ineligible poor-performing,
tax-mad, Romney-CARE installing Liar and Backstabber Milt.
I hope youre right, but I have little confidence in the American people these days. They think exactly how theyre told to think, and the mainstream media has so much power they can change the opinions of the American people within days. The media will prepare the American people for whatever the unemployment #s are Nov. 2nd, and they will place a positive spin on it.
How 8% unemployment has become the new normal is a prime example. If there was a Republican was president, the outcry would be deafening.
Unfortunately this site's owner and many others have turned this into a Mickey, Minney or Goofy, third and forth party support site.
I find it equally ironic that two years ago the mantra here was "anybody but Obama" whereas now it has degenerated into "anybody but Romney". Adios to that God and Country thing...and good luck to those third and party dudes hoping to give the election to Obama.
I think there should be a thread started by those folks so they can battle it out amongst themselves as to who they're going to support for third party......LOL! That will be fun to watch!
Fortunately for our country, there aren't too many educated folks interested in a third party considering what we're up against. I fully suspect that despite the claims and exaggerated numbers of active FReepers opposed to Romney, this site is not going to have any influence on the November election whatsoever so let the third party/Obama supporters rage on.
On top of the Guinness world record vote fraud we will also have vote splitting.
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