Mr. Obama’s Second Chance

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The New York Times Editorial 

In 2008, Barack Obama arrived at his convention in Denver trying to remake a drifting Democratic Party in his own image, and to convince dubious voters that he could govern the country. Mr. Obama came to his convention in Charlotte still struggling to lead and revive that same party and once again to convince voters that he can govern a country more bitterly divided than it was in 2008.

obama
This is the central dilemma Mr. Obama faces in his re-election: he has been far more successful than his opponents claim, but far less successful than he needs to be at making voters understand that.

He brought to his convention an actual record at governing — not just the Republican posture of saying “No” to everything. He has far better ideas about how to create jobs, make Americans’ tax burdens more equitable and improve ordinary Americans’ economic prospects than the tired, failed trickle-down fantasies served up by Mitt Romney and the Republican Party.

He ended the war in Iraq, tried to rescue the Afghan war that President George W. Bush bungled, stepped up the offensive on terrorists far beyond Mr. Bush’s vision and rallied the world to support the insurrection in Libya and ratchet up pressure on Iran. He blunted the extreme message of the Tea Party after the Democrats’ losses in 2010 by offering an alternative vision of government’s power, and obligation, to help the neediest, provide everyone with the basic structures of society and the economy, and end unconscionable discrimination against gay and lesbian Americans. He has protected women’s constitutional rights and liberties, despite his own misgivings about abortion.

And yet, Mr. Obama is still struggling to make voters see beyond the sluggish recovery and his political pratfalls. His big night at the convention this year is every bit as fraught with uncertainty and risk as was his 2008 convention address.

Mr. Obama allowed himself to believe in his own legend, cheered on by the hundreds of thousands of adoring supporters who thronged his inauguration, by the sheer magnificence of the swearing-in of an African-American president. It was as though he concluded that his election by itself changed the world and had fulfilled his promise of a post-partisan era.

The president and his tight inner circle were oblivious to the Republicans’ explicit warning that he would not get the slightest cooperation from a party and a Congressional caucus driven by an implacable hatred of Mr. Obama that is mostly ideological but also fueled by his race. It took nearly three years for the Obama team to recognize that central fact.

Mr. Obama won passage of an economic recovery bill that not only warded off depression, but actually created jobs, and of a health care reform law that is essential to the long-term economic health of the country. But he ceded the nitty-gritty of lawmaking to Congress, where leaders of his own party did not fully step up to the moment and Republicans stood in stonewall opposition.

And he ceded the national debate on central issues to those same Republicans, mired in his belief that the force of his intellect could melt their obstructionism and that he could deliver the powerful speech to save the day. It happened, time again, on health care, on the stimulus, on the Bush tax cuts, on the debt ceiling. Mr. Obama allowed his opponents to define the argument and so define him.

He fought for economic stimulus, and for the re-regulation of an out-of-control financial industry that almost destroyed the economy. But he settled for less than he should have in both areas, and he appointed an economic team that led him to ignore the plight of ordinary homeowners. They sank further into a swamp of debt until he was seen as a president who promised to fight for the middle class and never did.

Bill Clinton showed Mr. Obama how to do it. On Wednesday night, Mr. Clinton fought back against the Republicans on Medicaid and Medicare, two areas where the Obama campaign has so far failed to get real traction. He made the argument for health care reform, financial re-regulation and fair taxation, all while firing up a crowd eager to roar.

That is Mr. Obama’s chance in Charlotte tonight, and his challenge. He has done it before.

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3 Responses to Mr. Obama’s Second Chance

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    The truth about these American Elections is that the election itself is a farce, just to get the public participation, the elctions are hyped and are manoeuvred by the hidden powers as was seen the time George Bush Jnr. won over Al Gore. At that time America wanted to have an aggressive person as the President and George Bush fitted the post better than Al Gore who was not impulsive and brazen. The reason was long before the election of the President, the hidden powers had decided to invade Iraq for their military strategy for oil. At the end of term of Bushe’s Office America having achieved it’s military objective was hated by almost every Nation in the world. To defuse this situation the hidden powers wanted to nutralise this animosity towards the US. Hence they decided to get Barak Obama elected. The election was hyped to a point the entire world interet was focused. The moment Barak Obama’s victory was announced, the anger and the animosity prevalent towards the US just dissapeared. The whole world began to praise Barak Obama’s victory. In turn in his innaugral address although he sounded determined and committed, in action he lacked the sting he displayed. He warned all countries that violated Democratic norms. But he was helpless for the excesses committed in most countries including ours with the very help of the unseen American hand. It is interesting to see whether America will invade Iran and North Korea in the near future. Accordingly the next President will be selected. Therefore Barak Obama’s re-election depends on what America’s Foreign Interests are in the short run.

    gamini
    September 8, 2012 at 10:05 am
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    It is a challenging time for Mr.Obama, The economy and the US unemployment which is over eight percent. First term of his presidency he achieved his promsises that he made to the public, of ending the war in Iraq, getting Bin Larden and health care. His biggest problem was the Republican Congress which is controlled by the Tea Party with an antigovernment strategy and no compromise.

    Merril
    September 9, 2012 at 12:54 am
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    OBAMA WILL GET A SECOND TERM. MITT ROMNEY BEING A MORMON TOO WILL GO AGAINST HIM, IF NOT ANYTHING ELSE. WHOEVER WINS IT MATTERS LITTLE BECAUSE BOTH ARE CONTROLLED BY THE JEWS. DEMOCRAT OR REPUBLICAN, “THE JEWISH TAIL WILL CONTINUE TO WAG THE AMERICAN DOG” WITH THE IMPOTENT UN AND WITH THE “VFTO” IN UN SECURITY COUNCIL, THERE IS NOTHING GOING TO CHANGE. AMERICA AND ITS ALLIES WILL BE GETTING INTO DEEPER SHIT UNTIL THEY SINK IN THEIR OWN DAM SHIT.AMERICA AND EUROPE ARE NOT GOING TO GET OUT OF THEIR ECONOMIC PROBLEMS UNTIL THEY GET OUT OF THE LANDS THEY ARE OCCUPYING.

    AYMAN
    October 5, 2012 at 1:37 pm
    Reply

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