As cliched as it may sound there are some things in life that are difficult to forget. Like the day Obama became President. I remember hearing the news with my head stuck in the fridge of some ghastly apartment. So Obama had won the presidency; the White Houses’ first black president. It was all fun and frolics until the criticism started to broil in the media. This was not unprecedented because Obama swept briskly into office under the ambitious banner of change and unity and a whole lot of promises which were from the very outset problematic. Like the old adage goes – easy to say difficult to do. To me, Obama’s campaign seemed all too uncertain and risky – before he won the candidacy I genuinely thought Hilary would be the likely victor.
I remember vividly when Obama said he would remove troops from Iraq. I then remember the amount of editorial backlash he received when he increased numbers in afghanistan and US casualties reached an all time high. I also remember his first days in office when he said he would shut down Guantanamo Bay. It hasn’t shut but perhaps it shouldn’t either.
So with the US elections looming in the near future, politics and the media are working together to produce some kind of a cocktail party of proclivity and amusement; life is becoming more and more interesting by the news-brief. Especially since Rick Santorum is out of the game and it is becoming increasingly likely the ultra rich capitalist Mitt Romney will become the nominee for the Republican party. So far polls run by CNN predict Obama leads Romney by an overall of 9 percentage points.
It appears Obama has a serious advantage among women voters.
The NYT similarly put Obama in the lead. According to their polls Obama needs fifty three electoral votes to win whereas Romney needs a slightly less forty eight – the numbers are undoubtedly close. At this stage we know what Obama thinks of America. We know what he thinks of abortion, Iraq, federal government spending, immigration, gay marriage, (Osama bin Laden), and so on. But in six months we will see what America thinks of Obama, the economy, ‘Obamacare’, his massive spending policy and foreign policy.
So far I can say with slight confidence that one thing Obama has done well is improve the US’s world image. He is a likable character and as popular as a politician can be. Perhaps more popular than JFK. He seems to be incredibly humane and down to earth, a bit of an entertainer even.
But I’m not sure how inaccurate it would be to say Obama partly won the election in 2008 because of a grossly unappealing counter-part and for some reason I would not discourage this same notion now in 2012. Mitt Romney is not good for several reasons, for one he is super rich, perhaps too rich and ‘out-of-touch’ with concerns of ordinary Americano’s, especially the working and middle classes…. But Romney says he understands the economy and promises a pragmatic tax programme so perhaps he has something going for him. One thing he does not have going for him is his mormonism. He’s also been caught by the media for telling a few tall-tales; like the time he went to an awe-inspiring fair with his father which took place a few years before his birth..
It will be interesting to observe Florida, Arizona, Colorado, Wisconsin, Missouri, North Carolina… The so-called toss-up states. With the exception of Wisconsin, all states that have generally voted Republican in the past three elections, but for one reason or another at this stage appear to be largely undecided. If Obama fails to secure electoral votes in those areas – then he may very well be in trouble. Exciting times. Does it really begin with you, Obama