President Obama is trying to remain optimistic, but things aren't looking great. The decrease in the unemployment rate to 9.1% from 9.2% isn't much of a decrease; no president since Franklin Roosevelt has been reelected with a jobless rate that high, op-ed columnist Doyle McManus wrote Sunday. The economic rebound during the second half of the year that the Obama administration was hoping for isn’t looking good either, and the president's underwhelming stimulus package is an easy target for the opposition, McManus said.
Obama’s plan to fix the economy is a "mini-stimulus" -- money for the economy now, with cuts later -- but that will be difficult to sell to voters on the heels of the debt-ceiling debate. Here’s an excerpt from the column:
To sway the skeptics, Obama will have to convince them that his approach really will produce more jobs, even though his efforts until now — principally his $787-billion stimulus package passed in 2009 — have fallen short of expectations. And he'll need to persuade a contentious Congress to pass at least some of his ideas.
Some Democrats contend that the president can benefit even if Republicans in Congress block one or two of his proposals. Win or lose, they argue, he needs to pick a fight to make it clearer to voters what side he's on.
Ultimately, though, Obama will be judged by results. If the unemployment rate recedes at all in 2012, he'll be in a position to claim some credit. But unless the jobs picture improves significantly, he still faces an uphill battle.
Many readers on the discussion board are holding out for better alternatives in the 2012 election, but there don’t seem to be many viable candidates.
The GOP strategy is to follow Europe’s failed austerity
[Rep. Eric] Cantor says "been there, done that" when it comes to the stimulus and unemployment benefits, but what is the alternative from the GOP? Their alternative is to follow the failed austerity approach of Europe, where literally every country that has focused on cuts as the solution has experienced SLOWER economic progress than the United States. GOP leaders literally don't have an example to provide, current or historical, where a capitalist country contracted it's way out of an economic crisis.
He’ll keep his job if he can convince voters that the GOP will make things worse
"Can the president persuade voters to let him keep his job when so many of them have lost theirs?" If he can convince him that the GOP candidate would kill even more jobs, yes. Regarding the irresponsible ideas, like spending cuts without new taxes, endorsed by the rethuglican challengers, that's not totally unlikely.
Still, it would be much preferable if there was a more left wing Democrat challenging Obama and his appeasement policies in the primary. Even if the challenger wouldn't win, he/she would force Obama to move to the left again. After the constant pandering to right wing ideas during the last years, that would be a positive development, for a change (a small change).
Another Democrat needs to take charge of the party
Obama will not change directions. He is too much of an ideologue. Best thing for the country is for him to not run a second term. Someone else from the his party needs to take charge. The problem is that no one from his party has the guts to challenge Obama!! As for Obama, a teaching position at the university would be an appropriate job. While there he can take classes in Management and Leadership!!!
Obama fooled me once, but he won’t again
For me, this is not about ideology or party, it is about competence. If you read these message boards, you will see that a lot of us who voted for him are disappointed and disillusioned. Fool me once, shame on you; Fool me again, shame on me.
Are you sure you want to vote Republican?, in response to SilenceDoGoodII
So you will vote Republican? Sure about that?
Its all about divide and conquer. I think many would love to have another option, but Obama will take the DEM nomination and by default collect votes. Change the system ... and you can get some of that "change" he was talking about.
I’m not a fan of Obama, but his opponents are worse
Of course he will, are there any viable opponents, I don't think so. I'm not a fan of Obama, but the current field of the GOP is dismal and untrustworthy scaring the heck out of the elderly and poor. There is a long time to the election and many things will change, certainly Obama will pull a rabbit out of the hat in the last moment to get himself re-elected.
Politicians are too busy raising campaign money to do their jobs
The spending problem belongs to both sides of the aisle. Politicians are too focused on raising campaign money to keep their cushy jobs, which, in turn, requires them to pay back those who donated their cash to help elect them. This leads them down a path of putting the interests of average Americans second to those who contributed to their campaign war chests.
Calling people names […] does nothing to bring us closer to a solution.
The question is that now that the alarm bells are sounding (downgraded credit rating, debt level, etc), will we as a nation, begin to take an honest look at how our tax dollars are being used, and how we can bring government spending under control.
We won't be able to "tax" our way out of this problem, and we likely won't be able to "cut" our way out of it either. The solution will lie somewhere in between.
As a conservative, I am staunchly opposed to increasing taxes, the same way those on the left oppose cuts. With that being said, to get the job done, each side is going to have to hold their nose, and give a little.
The next president will have to do more than point fingers at the last guy in office
What if we have years more to go with the current hell; like maybe another decade of shrinkage or stagnation? What policies do we have from either side for that? Can the GOP just pretend the poor don't exist when they begin to approach 30 or 40 percent of the population? Can the Democrats keep saying that we need to provide everyone with the same level of health care spending when the cost for that approaches half of what the bottom half makes and how do we tell those unfortunate folks that this is what you get, that other stuff is for the rich folks?
I'm more than willing to admit that these last four years have been a failure, but the man or woman who wants to take Obama's place needs to show us how they will change things for the better; they can't just say that I'm not that guy because even if they aren't that guy they could still be the guy before who was busy working on his abs while the economy rotted from the inside. [Mitt] Romney built his wealth on financial strip mining. The prosperity that [Texas Gov. Rick] Perry brought to his state has come from the high gas prices that have hurt the rest of us. [Rep. Michele] Bachmann has government programs to thank for her wealth and income while railing against government spending. [Former Minnesota Gov. Tim] Pawlenty borrowed from his state's future and left them with a deficit of billions. None of these people have a plan to do anything for us; they are busy running against Obama.
Now, a focus on jobs
Obama insists U.S. is still a AAA nation
Obama says more to be done to boost the economy
Departing Obama advisor: Economy in a ‘bit of a slog’
Unemployment: How to get ourselves out of the job crisis
-- Samantha Schaefer
Photo: The economy is not doing President Obama's reelection prospects any favors. Credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg