Another issue that confronts President Obama is that perhaps he is overanalytical. That comes across as hesitation. During crises, that can be a liability. Then, a leader needs to be decisive. He/she needs to be able to try to impose a sense of order on the turmoil when information is incomplete.
When one steps back to look at the big picture, one sees an economic recovery that has been relatively jobless to date (meaning the unemployment rate has remained persistently high). That President Obama undertook two rounds of stimulus (2009 and late 2010) is largely lost in what seems to be a decided lack of ongoing action and sluggish economic growth. A similar dynamic is at play in the ongoing debt ceiling negotiations. I agree with President Obama's delegating leadership for the talks to Vice President Biden. I don't believe it is helpful if the President is involved in day-to-day negotiations, as it risks squandering his political capital and diverting attention from other matters. Where I think President Obama has erred is in not making a regular and forceful case for his vision of fiscal consolidation. As a result, Republicans have been arguing that he is detached from the issue and has no ideas of his own. That the U.S. lacked a coherent framework for dealing with possible political change in the Middle East and took an overly idealistic approach that the Israeli-Palestinian dispute could rapidly be resolved (despite vast differences between the parties and the historic pace of progress) and has responded in a largely reactive fashion to events has also created perceptual problems. Barring appreciable progress on the economic, fiscal, and foreign policy fronts, there is a risk that the perception that President Obama has lost control of events could take hold.
IMO, President Carter truly lost control of events and was properly viewed as ineffective. President Obama is not in such a position at this time. However, should his Administration continue to display little decisiveness and a continuing inability to reach necessary policy agreements, most important of which would provide realistic opportunity for a more vigorous economic rebound, President Obama will risk being defined as a 21st century version of President Carter. The public elects leaders to address problems. By the 2012 election, the public will be less interested in the narrative of the 2007-09 financial crisis/severe recession and much more interested in ongoing job creation and prospects for a more robust and sustained recovery going forward. The public won't be interested in stories about the past. It will be focused on a path to a better future.
Of course, if the Republicans nominate a candidate with below average communications ability, a perspective that is beyond what the public would tolerate, and/or an inability to rally the public behind his/her vision, then President Obama could still be re-elected. Then, barring a return to recession or some other crisis, the public could find political risk avoidance preferable to an unsatisfactory economic status quo. If the Republicans engineer what would be a self-inflicted debt crisis or recession related to a breakdown in the debt ceiling talks (something I don't believe is likely), then prospects for a Republican victory in 2012 would be significantly dimmer.
Last edited by donsutherland1; 06-14-11 at 08:56 AM.
No longer having a free falling economy losing 700000 jobs a month as it was when he first took over. The economy is showing signs of progress and hopefully will continue
Troops coming home from Iraq.
Excellent results in the wars, the killing of OBL, something of which he was absolutely correct on during the campaign
healthcare bill is becoming more popular as people are finding out that there aren't death panels
dont ask dont tell
I know nothing will make you happy, and I don't think everything in the economy is just peachy but when I ask myself am I personally better off than I was when he took over it's an easy yes. When he took over my company had just had a round of layoffs and every plant and engineering firm that we work with just about had laid off people. Now many of them are hiring again. I went from being scare of being laid off to having more work then I know what to do with.
Unemployment finally bottomed out. Um...ok.
We're not only still in Iraq and Afghanistan, but we're in Libya now, too.
Excellant results in the wars, that started taking place under Bush and because of a continuance of Bush's polices has gotten better.
Obamacare? I seriously doubt that's going to be part of his platform.
At the end of the day, he's going to hang his hat on killing UBL and repealing DADT?
Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.
Alexis de Tocqueville