A Quick Review of Presidential Politics

Yesterday was cold and the ground was covered with ice. It was treacherous outside so I stayed inside and watched television. We eventually wound up watching CNN where we listened to campaign speeches by Mr. Romney and Mr. Gingrich. I was impressed with how both men appeared dramatically better in their public appearances compared to how they typically portrayed on our news programs via sound bites. Both men did an excellent job of articulating their political views and how these views connect to the shared values of the American people. As Mr. Gingrich was quoted in the Washington Times ,

“it’s not that I am a great debater,” Mr. Gingrich said Saturday. “It’s that I articulate the deepest-held values of the American people.”

As was expected the crowd response was favorable since both men were “preaching to the choir”. Their connection with their audience is no different than President Obama’s connection with his audience. This is one of the most importance characteristics of successful politicians.

If these candidates continue to have successful public appearances the presidential race will probably be determined by how people view the successes and failures of our government under Presidential Obama. The biggest problems with President Obama’s signature health care act and stimulus plan is that they have not made a difference that the average person can see. Most people have seen their health care costs go up and the expansion of Medicaid is on hold since most of the states do not have the money. The continued high unemployment rate condemns the stimulus plan. With high disapproval ratings among independents President Obama has an almost impossible task in front of him. If he is to win re-election he needs a lot of help from the Republican candidates. If the Republican candidates do not screw up, he will be a one term president.

Another thing I noticed in the campaign speeches is the repetition of some new catch phrases. It should be interesting how the phrases, “Food Stamp President”, “Crony Capitalism”, and “Anti-Job President” play in a broader political audience. The “Anti-Job President” phrase was a new phrase for me. Based on the polling numbers the Keystone Pipeline decision looks like a bad political gamble for the President in an election year. Jobs is the number one political issue and the administration does not have a lot of job creation successes to talk about on the campaign trail. Considering the present economic climate does the President really think that environmental concerns with the pipeline are more important than job growth to independent voters? There is a difference between a “Do No Harm” President and a “Do Nothing” President and I think the polling shows that independent voters can tell the difference.