Obama Campaign Tour Sparked By Stagnant Economy, Lagging Poll Numbers, and Scandals
No wonder President Obama is leaving Washington to launch a two-month campaign tour to sell his ideas on how to jumpstart the economy. He’s a man with a severe headache, living in an increasingly inhospitable town.
The White House says the president will explain how the economy will be built from the inside out to benefit the middle class. That means he will repeat his familiar class warfare refrain that an economy that creates jobs from the top down only means that citizens will be left to fend for themselves.
The idea of the president taking to the road to prescribe economic solutions will be astounding to millions of Americans. They are all too familiar with an unemployment rate stuck above 7 percent that is really about 14 percent counting the underemployed and those who have left the workforce.
Americans know all too well that we have the weakest economic recovery since World War II and the lowest rate of job participation since 1948. They know that a record number of Americans rely on food stamps and another record number of their fellow citizens have resorted to disability payments.
When they hear the president’s class warfare rhetoric, they will ask why he wants another tax increase. They will question why he continues to wage a war on America’s energy resources. They will ask why he continues to stack his cabinet with officials who want more regulation and bigger government.
Obama is obviously preparing for battles with Congress this fall when Washington will face the need to pass a federal budget and tackle the question of raising the national debt. He is also preparing for the 2014-midterm elections and the need to demonize his opponents.
A real motivator for the president is troubling poll numbers. The public is restive on a number of fronts.
The pollster Scott Rasmussen reports that positive assessments of President Obama’s leadership have fallen to their lowest level in over a year of regular tracking. Polling by Rasmussen this month showed that 43 percent of likely voters now consider the president a good or excellent leader, while 38 percent give the president poor marks for leadership. These numbers are not encouraging for a twice-elected president intent on creating a lasting legacy.
The key component of his legacy is Obamacare, the president’s national healthcare overhaul languishing in disarray with a deadline for implementation only months away. Everything the president said about Obamacare was false, including his claim that individuals could keep their health care plans and doctors and his assurance that individuals and families would see a drop in premiums.
Rasmussen reports that while the President has delayed implementation of the employer mandate portion of Obamacare, most voters think he also should delay the requirement that every American buy or obtain health insurance. By a two to one margin, 56 percent to 26 percent, voters want the president to delay implementation of the individual mandate.
Then there are the nagging scandals that refuse to subside. The most persistent is the IRS scrutiny of conservative groups that sought tax-exempt status. Congressional testimony now reveals that the scheme reached into the White House, although it may not have involved the president himself.
In addition, Americans have not forgotten the White House cover up that followed the terrorist attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, that took the lives of four Americans. The administration continues to stonewall congressional efforts to learn the truth about Benghazi almost a year after the attacks.
It will take more than lofty speeches on college campuses to revive the U.S. economy and dispel the distrust that now permeates a scandal-ridden administration. Yet speeches are what pass for leadership in the Obama White House. It didn’t work for President Obama in the past, and it won’t work now.
During the course of his career, Walker has worked in Chicago, Washington DC, New York City, and Phoenix. He served as a reporter in Chicago, a press secretary and speechwriter in Washington, and in numerous positions in New York in corporate and financial services communications.
Walker is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.