St Louis Post-Dispatch: Four years ago, in endorsing Democrat Barack Obama for president, we noted his intellect, his temperament and equanimity under pressure. He was unproven, but we found him to be presidential, in all that that word implies.
In that, we have not been disappointed. This is a serious man. And now he is a proven leader. He has earned a second term.
Mr. Obama sees an America where the common good is as important as the individual good. That is the vision on which the nation was founded. It is the vision that has seen America through its darkest days and illuminated its best days. It is the vision that underlies the president’s greatest achievement, the Affordable Care Act. Twenty years from now, it will be hard to find anyone who remembers being opposed to Obamacare.
He continues to steer the nation through the most perilous economic challenges since the Great Depression. Those who complain that unemployment remains high, or that economic growth is too slow, either do not understand the scope of the catastrophe imposed upon the nation by Wall Street and its enablers, or they are lying about it.
To expect Barack Obama to have repaired, in four years, what took 30 years to undermine, is simply absurd. He might have gotten further had he not been saddled with an opposition party, funded by plutocrats, that sneers at the word compromise. But even if Mr. Obama had had Franklin Roosevelt’s majorities, the economy would still be in peril…..
….. The question for voters is actually very simple. The nation has wrestled with it since its founding: Will this be government for the many or the few?
Charles Blow: Shady money, voter suppression, shifting positions, murky details and widespread apathy.
If there is a road map for a Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan win in November, that’s it. Distasteful all.
…. America, this is the Republican ticket. Although most smart political observers currently have Romney losing the Electoral College, Romney, following this repulsive road map, is virtually tied with Obama in national polls of likely voters.
That is, in part, because of apathy. As USA Today reported, the 90 million people who are unlikely to vote in November prefer Obama over Romney by 2 to 1, and “they could turn a too-close-to-call race into a landslide for President Obama — but by definition they probably won’t.”
If this underhanded dirty dealing by the Republican ticket doesn’t jolt some of these unlikely voters into likely ones, I don’t know what will.
Washington Post: President Obama will announce details Friday for a $1 billion Veterans Job Corps that the White House says will put up to 20,000 veterans to work over the next five years on projects to preserve and restore national parks and other federal, state and local lands.
….. Obama proposed the corps in his State of the Union address last month, describing it as “enlisting our veterans in the work of rebuilding our nation.”
From the White House: “President Obama and the First Lady will welcome Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and his wife, Samantha Cameron, to the White House for an Official Visit with a State Dinner on March 13-14, 2012….”.
Check out this list of the ’244 Accomplishments of President Obama in his First Term’ (so far) compiled by Robert P. Watson, Professor of American Studies, Lynn University – “Like all presidents, Barack Obama has made mistakes. But, as a presidential historian, I have been struck by claims being put forward by Obama’s many critics and the news media that he has accomplished little when, in fact, his presidency is easily one of the most active in history.”
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a Republican member of the Cabinet, feigns being a blocking back for President Barack Obama as he arrives backstage to meet with GOP House leaders Jan. 29, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Steve Kornacki (Salon): At Politico on Monday, Jonathan Martin does a nice job explaining the “reality check” that Republicans are now waking up to: Barack Obama seems to be in decent political shape as the 2012 cycle begins, while “breezy predictions of Obama turning out to be the next Jimmy Carter were premature.”
That it’s come to this shouldn’t be that surprising. As we noted over and over last year as Obama and his fellow Democrats braced for a midterm drubbing, the two-year verdict on a presidency is often extremely misleading – as the examples of Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton both attest. With his party running Washington and with the economy reeling, it was pretty much inevitable that the first half of Obama’s first term would play out the way it did.
What is surprising, though, is how quickly it’s come to this…..barely a month after the midterms, prominent conservatives were already admitting that he was looking good to win a second term … lately, Mike Huckabee — who might be the front-runner for the GOP nomination, if only he’d get in the race — has been making headlines by talking up Obama’s strength, as he did to Politico:
“The people that are sitting around saying, ‘He’s definitely going to be a one-term president. It’s going to be easy to take him out,’ they’re obviously political illiterates — political idiots, let me be blunt.”
…for now, the consensus of the political class seems to be that Obama will be reelected in 2012 – and Republicans seem to be buying into it …. Unlike the Democrats of early 2003, who saw a chance to become the next Bill Clinton, the Republicans of early 2011 seem to fear the prospect of becoming the next Bob Dole.