Last Thursday, President Barack Obama spoke to a room full of donors at a campaign fundraiser in Washington D.C. sounding very confident of his chances for re-election.
“Here’s one thing I know for certain,” Obama said. “The odds of me being re-elected are much higher than the odds of me being elected in the first place [in 2008].”
News networks quickly picked up the story, with some conservative media outlets taking Obama’s statement slightly out of context, as was the case with the Fox News headline, “Obama: Odds Are I’ll Get Re-Elected.” But while Obama may not have said exactly that, his remarks still create a narrative that is anything but helpful to him as he mounts his 2012 re-election bid.
Obama’s re-election committee plans to chart new territory in presidential campaigns by raising $1 billion and unfortunately, campaign finance laws won’t allow Oprah to bankroll that by herself. It’s a fundraising goal that may prove to be especially difficult in this recessionary economy and while it’s important for any candidate to portray confidence in their odds of success, the last thing you want to do when shaking people down for money is pronounce yourself the winner of an election nearly 14 months out from the day voters will actually go to the polls. Obama would be wise to frame this as a competitive, tight race even if all signs pointed to an easy road for his re-election. But in fact, they don’t.
A Rasmussen poll released Monday indicates that only 22 percent of voters strongly approve of Obama’s job performance, while a separate Gallup poll released this week also shows Obama’s approval rating at an all-time low among liberals. A quick survey of recent events under the Obama administration reminds us why.
The August jobs report was published three weeks ago showing no new jobs created in that month and unemployment rates still at upwards of 9 percent. Interestingly, the Senate, where Democrats hold the majority, has a jobs bill on the calendar but is not set to discuss it until after they return from their recess next month—got to get in a few good rounds of golf first.
Additionally, Obama is now backtracking on promises he made in 2009, and, failing to see that our nation’s debt stems from a spending problem rather than a revenue problem, is proposing $1.5 trillion in new taxes on the very people who are creating jobs and putting money back into the economy. The media has now uncovered a number of fees hidden within the president’s tax package including a doubling of federal security fees for airline passengers and a pay cut for federal workers.
Add to this the fact that the nation’s credit ranking was downgraded for the first time in history over this summer and a swelling national debt of more than $14.7 trillion, $4 trillion of which was accumulated on Obama’s watch, and you have a president who faces a very tough road to re-election.
If Obama wants to be a two-term president, he needs to either cut a check to Michele Bachmann’s GOP primary campaign or, perhaps the better option, level with his supporters, admit where he has erred, and humbly explain why he so badly needs their time, resources, and votes. Otherwise, his time in office may be running out, and we may all be better off for it.