The Presidential race, as expected, has become very close. Most of the so-called experts are predicting a “photo finish” and I tend to agree with that assessment. The first two debates caused bumps in the polls for each candidate with Romney getting a badly-needed boost from the first one. The President came back with a strong performance in round two and then won the third debate on foreign policy by a landslide. It was most evident that President Obama was at his best in the last debate. On the other hand, Gov. Romney appeared to be very nervous and seemed to be afraid of making a mistake. It’s hard to measure how much the debates help a debate winner, but the President clearly won the last two. Romney most likely righted his sinking ship with his performance in round one. But truthfully, his surge was more attributed to the President’s poor performance that night than anything Romney did.
When you consider how Romney has flip-flopped on all of the important issues, it’s pretty hard to figure out who the real Romney actually is. Normally you have a clear idea of what the candidate who emerges from the party primaries believes. But Romney, who had been very liberal on most issues in the past, went into the GOP primary as a moderate candidate. He then overnight became a “severe conservative.” I suppose we should have expected his next move. Predictably, he became “Moderate Mitt” for the debates. It’s sort of like the “flavor of the day” with Romney when reporters try to find out where he really stands on an issue. That makes him a person who is difficult to pin down on the issues. The question remains with just days left in the campaign – who is Mitt Romney?
When you get down to it, the statements Romney made in Florida in the private meeting (where he thought he could tell his supporters who were present how he really felt on issues) are the best evidence of who Mitt Romney really is. I already felt like the man was totally out of touch with folks in the middle-class and the poor, but his private conversation in Florida revealed his true feelings about most Americans. His talking about 47% of the American people being “victims” who won’t take “personal responsibility” for anything, tells me that Mitt Romney has no business being President of the United States. That doesn’t even take into consideration all of the untruths he has uttered during the campaign and his continuing shifts of position on key issues.
I attempted in the last issue to explain to our readers why I believed President Obama deserves a second term. I am even more convinced now, after watching the debates, that a second term for the President is well-deserved and also badly needed by the American people. The President faced enormous challenges when he took office, left over from the eight years under George W. Bush, and he has things turned around for the American people. President Obama inherited a vast array of problems, including the worst economy since the Great Depression, a financial crash caused by risky loans and investments and weak regulation, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (fought on credit) and one against terror that knows no borders. The President has risen to the challenge and he has done an outstanding job. In reviewing his record, we see that President Obama has:
• Put the United States back on track.
• Created millions of new jobs and has our economy growing again.
• Saved the American automobile industry.
• Caused needed reforms to be enacted to prevent another financial breakdown.
• Led the way in tracking down those who attacked our nation on 9/11, ended the war in Iraq, and has developed a plan to wind down our combat role in Afghanistan.
• Begun the long process of rebuilding America’s standing in the world community.
• Enacted student loan reforms that will make college a reality for millions of young people, by limiting repayment costs to a small fixed percentage of a graduate’s income.
• Accomplished something that was long overdue – health care reform – and thereby improved the lives of tens of millions of Americans.
These accomplishments are even more extraordinary when you consider the vehement opposition the President faced every step of the way from the Republican Party. That was especially true in Congress where members have blocked the President’s proposals to put more Americans back to work. As their Senate leader has said, the Republicans’ number one goal was not to put Americans back to work, but to defeat the President in this election. That movement started the very day this President took the oath of office.
There is so much to do to get America back to the full employment and shared prosperity essential to rebuilding the middle class. Keeping President Obama in the White House to continue what he started is an absolute necessity. We have seen:
• over the last two and a half years, 4.4 million new jobs have been created in the in the private sector; and
• over 2.2 million more new private sector jobs were created than the previous administration over the same period following the 2000-2001 recession.
At this stage in our history, the United States needs leaders who will work together to overcome the many challenges our people face to build a 21st Century economy where everyone can work and share in our prosperity. The President deserves the opportunity to complete what he started, and in my opinion he will get it.
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