During the 2008 elections in October, Obama’s message was reaching fever pitch. As McCain hit two major stumbling blocks, the economy and Sarah Palin, Obama knocked him over and continued the message for Hope and Change.
But fast forward to 2012. Obama is struggling with a voter base that is still waiting for that hope and chance and opponents who interpret his every move as treason and socialism. So where does that leave Obama?
The first round of debates this week showed us that Obama is not quite as strong in one of what used to be his strongest areas. Many supporters do not want to hear the same promises. We want the troops home. We want Guantanamo closed. We wanted the public option for health care. What we got was “more of the same” not hope and change.
So how to keep us motivated for the elections? Not by what we saw trotted out this week in the debates. Obama needs to show us that he hasn’t forgotten the promises he made. He needs to point out that the moves he made in 2009 were to save the economy from the brink of disaster, and that despite the sad figures coming out about today’s economy, it really could have been much worse.
He needs to point out that the bailout worked. The U.S. saved those banks and the car industry and for the most part got its money back and then some.
He needs to remind us that he is still fighting for us. He needs to remind us that a lot of the slowdown in congress is because Republicans have been blocking every single thing Democrats have tried to do recently – and the effect of that has been negative.
A house divided cannot stand.
I have often envied Republicans their politicians because they are so steadfast in their beliefs. They do not waver for compromise, or to constituents, or even to particular situations – because for some reason, admitting that a premise you held with only some information might have been wrong is called “flip-flopping” if you are a Republican politician, rather than “making an informed decision” if you are anyone else. But still, Republican voters tend to get what they voted for (well, except for that whole thing with George W. Bush being all “going to keep things inside America”, turning all “I’m gonna start two wars outside America”.
I would like to see Obama, and the Democratic senators and representatives really push for what a large segment of their voting public would like, an Obama who stands proud and defends Democratic ideals. I want to see them follow through, even if public opinion is not 100% behind them. Obama has done a lot since he took office, but it is not enough. It is enough to withstand a new Republican in office who could overturn women’s rights, health care reform, and the baby steps towards progress Obama has already made.
(White House photo)