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ROBB AUSTIN'S TURN

Obama in Trouble from the Start

October 2, 2011

President Barack Obama is feeling the political pressure. His poll numbers keep dropping and his re-election looks more doubtful than possible.

Voters have a tendency to lock in attitudes early in the election cycle, and right now they are shaken about the President’s inept handling of the economy. 

The bad news seems to be compounded with each passing month, and confidence in the President’s ability to get the economy growing again continues to erode. Unless the jobs picture changes dramatically, and soon, voters will conclude he doesn’t deserve a second term.

He does retain his core support of African-Americans and the liberal left, but many of these voters are getting antsy too, and they do not make up a majority.

Some will argue that the President inherited the current mess, but the fact remains he was elected to change the ways of Washington, and fix the economy, and so far, he has accomplished neither.

Washington DC remains an overly partisan place to be, and as for the economy, well, conditions speak for themselves.

He was elected on a wave of optimism and hope, and the dynamic of being the first elected African-American President. The bar was set very high for his administration, yet instead of bringing the country together as people had hoped, he sent the wrong signal almost from the start.

His first act as President-elect may have been one of his worst choices and is often overlooked. He named as his Chief of Staff one of Washington’s most ardently political partisans, Congressman Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill).

Congressman Emanuel spent much of his congressional career bashing former President George W. Bush, and Republicans at-large for ills that beset the country. This appointment set the stage for what was to come.

Some admired Emanuel’s “political skill” at taking aim on Republicans, but naming him to this top White House post sent the wrong message and the President has never recovered. The prevailing attitude in the White House early on was that Obama had won the election so things were going to be done his way, Republicans be damned.

This approach handed President Obama ownership of the economy, and the country has never looked back. The President’s signature legislation, national health care (ObamaCare), and the $860 billion “stimulus” bill, were his policies alone, and neither is popular nor has worked.

Making matters worse is the President’s tendencies to blame former President Bush for getting us into the economic mess, and he also openly criticizes Republicans whenever speaks publically on the economy.

Voters are looking for a President to lead the nation, not blame others, and he would do himself a lot of political good to take responsibility for conditions as they now exist, and convince voters that things will get better if the country stays the course.

As it is, voters have the feeling that the President is “winging it” economically. His speeches and the latest White House proposal to create jobs have fallen flat with little chance of passing a politically divided Congress.

Voters are left with the Washington blame game – and feeling helpless and frustrated.

It’s a long way till Election Day but voters have lingering doubts that President Obama was the right choice in 2008, and fewer and fewer now believe he is the right man for 2012.