Wednesday, January 25, 2012
The state of the campaign...
It’s true that a lot of the president’s speech was overly hopeful and hyperbolic, and a lot of the “plans” he presented are never going to come to fruition. However, he is the president of the United States, and it is not only the duty of the president to try and make the country better, it is also the duty of the president to help citizens of this country have confidence that that is true. Republicans seem to be focused on how awful things are – the State of the Union rebuttal was a great example – and want to point fingers at whose fault it is, or who has been unable thus far to completely flip the economic downturn. It took more than a decade to cause the housing bubble and crash, to deregulate banks t the point where they could gamble with our savings and retirement, to deregulate industry to the point where they would re-form near monopolies and use lobbyists to push policies that protect them; the fact that it took a while to create these problems, it makes sense that it’s going to take longer than three years, two terms, or even a few terms to solve these problems.
The president’s administration has been imperfect to say the least. He’s let some people down. He’s continued some of the most appalling policies of the Bush administration. He’s been incredibly insular, when his stated desire early on was to stay open. He’s been dogged about working across the aisle, but has continued to do so even when his attempts were to his – and the country’s – detriment. However, his ideas still remain solid, and he remains an amazing campaigner who will no doubt excite the skeptics and those who feel betrayed.
A personal highlight I had during the debate last night showed that Obama is always so serious, and showed that the charismatic campaigner from 2008 is still there. He was making reference to outdated regulations, citing a particular regulation that considered milk to be oil, and therefore taxed dairy farmers up to $10,000 a year for containment. He goes on to say that with that regulation, it’s ‘worth crying over spilt milk’. He got crickets in the chamber, but the cheesy joke showed a different side of Obama than we’ve seen during his administration – the serious, somber, cerebral administrator.
The president will not officially begin campaigning until after a winner has been declared in the Republican primary, but his State of the Union address was an framework of legislation that he thinks will be successful in his next term, as well as issues he thinks will be politically advantageous in the upcoming election. His policies and campaign style are winners, he just needs to convince the American people of this.