By Tim Wildmon
I was discussing with an informed friend the other day the daily polling we hear about regarding the presidential race between President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney that have shown Obama trending ahead in some of the key battleground states like Virginia, Ohio and even Florida. He said the polls are not worth very much until about two weeks out from the election which is Nov. 6. His point was that the polling services are very competitive and do not want egg on their face election night if, in fact, their numbers turn out to be wrong. So take that into consideration when you hear poll numbers you don’t necessarily believe to be true. They may be accurate, but we will not know for certain until late in the evening of Nov. 6.
This brings me to another observation. I find it remarkable that President Obama is in the lead in any poll. I am not sure what to attribute that to exactly, because by all the normal considerations Americans vote on (economy, jobs, peace and security), he should be down in the polls by 5 to 10 percentage points. Namely, I’m talking about jobs and the economy which Obama gives himself an “incomplete” on his report card.
As I have pointed out here before, I believe that presidents get too much credit and too much blame for the economy. There are several other forces that have a larger role to play on the economy than does the presidency. But I blame the candidates themselves for hyping themselves as men who have all the answers. Remember Obama declared that years from now, because he had been elected, that our children now, would look back and see that it was because of him, Obama, that “the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”
Really. He said that. It was his “Mission Accomplished” moment before his mission had even begun. No lack of self-confidence with then candidate Obama. I am not sure if even Moses made these kinds of promises. Today, Mr. Self Confidence is scoring himself an “incomplete” on the economy and trying to explain to Univision (Latino television) why he failed to keep his promise to bring up comprehensive immigration reform during his four years basically saying he was just one man and couldn’t solve the world’s problems in one term.
They didn’t buy his explanation. That is what four years of reality does to a president in addition to giving you gray hair. In business the adage is under-promise and over-deliver. With Obama it has been over-promise and under-deliver. On almost every count.
Sometimes I believe politicians have good intentions but can’t deliver.
And sometimes I think they mislead intentionally to make themselves look good at the moment knowing full well they have no intention of delivering on a “pledge.”
The fact is that our national debt has gone from $10 trillion to $16 trillion since President Obama took office. I am not exonerating the Republicans on this debt altogether either, but then-candidate Obama called President Bush “unpatriotic” for the much smaller debt he incurred.
But four years later?
CBS reported in March: “The National Debt has now increased more during President Obama’s three years and two months in office than it did during eight years of the George W. Bush presidency.”
What is surprising to me is that Obama’s policies have failed to fix the economy in terms of the unemployment problem and the debt he has incurred has pushed us ever closer to what economists say is the brink of disaster, and yet here he sits with a good chance to be re-elected. But we shall see. Only a few more weeks before America decides.
Community columnist Tim Wildmon is a Lee County resident. He is president of the American Family Association, but the column represents his personal opinion unless otherwise noted. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.