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ROBB AUSTIN'S TURN

Election Reality for President Obama

May 5, 2012

It seems that President Barrack Obama and his supporters are doing everything possible to lose re-election in November.

For starters, his overreach in taking credit for the year-ago killing of Osama Bin Laden played right into the hands of his opposition. The public did not need an over-hyped replay on whose watch the mass-murderer was killed.

Whatever “credit” voters are giving President Obama for the Bin Laden killing has already been factored into the decision on whether the President deserves another term. His excessive overreach only served to remind voters what they don’t like about him.

Namely, they don’t like the fact that he failed to keep his biggest promise; to be a different kind of President who would bring the country together, not as a Red State or a Blue State, but as the United States.

Truthfully, voters give President Obama marginal credit for the Bin Laden killing.  Mostly, they know it was the United States military and our intelligence community that was responsible for the fete. The presidential decision to go into Pakistan was easy, one that any citizen, let alone the President of the United States, could have made.

That is, except for Vice President Joseph Biden, who did recommend against going in. Well, so much for the Vice President’s judgment.

Regardless of how the political experts are interpreting current polls, the President is headed for a disastrous defeat. In most key states, voters give Obama well under 50% of the vote, and there’s little likelihood those numbers will change over the next few months.

Unemployment remains horribly high, and people’s anxieties about the future continue to keep them up at night. There’s no overt sign that anything is getting better. Except for the very elite, things remain grim. The truth is people have already determined how they intend to vote based on the President's handling of the economy.

The President’s primary base of support, African-Americans, young voters, and liberal men and women, remain supportive, but skeptical. The real problem among these groups is that very few of them are enthusiastic about his re-election, and they cannot talk him up to their friends, family, and associates, as they did so proudly in 2008.

The country also sees a President who often acts petty and non-presidential. He’s mired in a fight against business and people who might be in position to hire others. Too many voters see his policies as bullying both business and job creators, and stupidly hurting, not helping the country.

For all the talk about how smart President Obama is, he never encourages business to hire individuals approaching retirement, people who desperately need help at this point in their lives. He rarely if ever talks about the plight of young people trying to find work in the face of mounting staggering college debt. Nor does he personally address the frustration and difficulty that so many black individuals face every day in trying to get hired in this environment.

He’s opposed to helping the oil and gas industry, the financial services industry, the private health care industry, the coal industry, and anyone else who earns close to $250,000 a year. The latter are mostly individuals who own small businesses, and could hire people with the right incentives.

The result is that President Obama is not a sympatric figure, and voters are locking in how they intend to vote with each passing day. Once they decide against him, they will not switch back.

The President will see silver linings along the way; convincing himself and others that the election is within his reach. This is how losing campaigns always view things; they tell themselves the election will be close, but they’ll win.

In 1980, President Jimmy Carter felt the same way, and national polls backed him up until the weekend before the election. He was stunned when aides told him the election wouldn’t even be close, and in fact he lost the electoral vote by a 90-10 margin.

In a few months, President Obama will discover his own fate, and he too, will be stunned by the news.