I am still trying to decide if President Obama’s admission that he personally believes that gay people should be able to marry was brilliant, stupid or completely irrelevant. The one thing he did accomplish is that Mitt Romney is now and for the rest of the campaign going to be associated with the likes of Bristol Palin and the woman who is afraid that gay people turn children into homiciders.
Now we are going to get back to the campaign. The gay issue, while being a great way to determine what kind of person our candidates are served as a nice Mother’s Day distraction from some of the more important issues of our time and now Obama is starting to hit Romney where it hurts.
No one was afraid that Obama was going to be too nice to Mitt during this campaign. The President has an agenda and he will need to show the country that he is serious about that agenda if he is going to be reelected. So today, the Obama campaign started to go after Mitt Romney’s time at Private Equity firm Bain Capital.
In a series of ad spots Obama points out that Romney’s firm bought out a steel company and a few years later closed down the plant and laid off all the workers, requiring a government bailout to pay for their pensions and healthcare.
This is a dangerous road to go down for the Obama campaign.
Mitt Romney is going to do everything in his power to deflect from social issues (gay marriage), religion (Mormonism) and constituency (Tea Partiers). Romney doesn’t want to remind the country that a vote for him brings all the boys who partied in the White House during the Bush Administration will be riding back into town. He wants to talk about jobs, jobs and jobs. He wants to stress that as a business man he was able to support some major businesses that produced a lot of jobs. He was also governor of Massachusetts during a really nice uptick in the economy.
The President meanwhile is presiding over an economy that has added trillions in debt, has more than a trillion dollars a year in deficits, passed a widely unpopular and expensive healthcare initiative, passed a largely ineffective stimulus package and gave away a lot of money to environmental projects that have gone no where. Obama would like the conversation to be about how evil Mitt Romney is instead of his own record.
The President harping on Romney’s time at Bain will most likely give Mitt the opportunity to hammer Obama on the jobs front over and over and over again until the President screams uncle.
What the President needs to do is get back to basics and promote the policies that Americans want to see. Here are some talking points for you Mr. President.
1. Stop talking about “Jobs Saved”: When the Stimulus passed we were inundated with promises that with the stimulus unemployment wouldn’t break 6 percent. It did and we got pretty pissed off about it. Having trouble spinning a trillion dollar oops the White House starting telling everyone that the stimulus “saved” millions of jobs. That without it things would have been much worse. This may be true, but it makes you sound like you are making excuses. Stop it right now.
2. Stop going after Romney for being rich: We all know Romney is rich, and we all hate him for it. There is no reason to keep bringing it up because in the end of the day it doesn’t mean anything. Does being insanely wealthy mean Romney is out of touch with most Americans…probably, but so is being President of the United States. You sound childish for attacking Romney’s wealth and people don’t like complainers.
3. Start being yourself!!!!!!: Before 2008 you had no problem talking about supporting universal healthcare, opposing mandates, tax fairness and social justice. Since then your proposals and speeches have become more vague and less committed most likely because your handlers are trying to stop you from pissing anyone off. Stop listening to them immediately. Start saying how you really feel about healthcare, marriage equality, the drug war, the economy, tax fairness and energy policy. Stand strong and stand behind what you believe. When they accuse you of secretly trying to pass a left wing agenda, own up to it and say “who is doing it secretly”. You will be amazed to find out how much of the country is with you.
4. Do NOT be afraid of Mitt Romney: Being afraid of what Mitt Romney might attack you for is like being afraid of the tooth fairy for coming into your room at night. Mitt Romney has the intelligence to act like his policies are correct and that you are the enemy of success. Throw it back at him. Tell him that in our country we are going to stop imprisoning millions of our citizens for simple drug possession, we are not going to stop committed couples from getting married and finally we are not going to abandon people to die in the street for lack of healthcare. When they say “Ask a Canadian” how much they love Universal Healthcare, don’t be afraid to put a few of them on camera. They love their healthcare system, and we would too.
Mr. President, you were able to capture the White House as a relative unknown. You voted “present” more times than yay or nay and your record was geared towards running for office. You will not be able to use “Hope and Change to get into another four years. You have to run on ideas, on policies and on leadership.
Left and Right is a three times weekly column by Inquistr writer H. Scott English examining the hottest political issues of the day, the candidates running for public office and the 2012 elections.