Perspectives on Election USA, November 2012
President Barack Obama is believed to understand the needs of America’s middle class; much more so than a multi millionaire venture capitalist named Mitt Romney. The President’s values are seen to be more approximate with those of people on middle incomes, living from paycheck to paycheck, and he is presently enjoying a huge lead in this category; 20 points, according to the latest polls.
And a recent secret recording of Romney chatting with his very rich friends, describing poor to middle income voters and 47% of the US electorate as dependent on government handouts, and entitlement will not help Romney’s numbers with this critical voting bloc.
The President is considered more likable than Contender Mitt Romney by US voters. If those metrics hold, this will not be good for Republican strategists, and may well determine that the President remains ensconced in the world’s most protected dwelling house for four more years. Mitt Romney’s declining numbers among the struggling classes are not a surprise; and most Election Observers always viewed the 2012 USA Presidential Race as a class struggle: rich versus the rest.
Further shocks for the Republicans are these: President Obama, after the Democratic Convention, received a small but significant bounce in opinion polls, and the President has over taken Mitt Romney among male voters for the first time; furthermore, the President is overwhelmingly ahead of Mitt Romney among young voters. Add Barack’s lead among women to the math, and Romney’s task is beginning to look like, ‘’MISSION IMPOSSIBLE.’’
Romney at times appears wooden and ultra defensive; and Romney is not comfortable with the type of scrutiny required of a US presidential contender. Another thing is this: in foreign policy, the President has proven himself a hawk, while Romney is burdened by a ‘’ flip flopper image.’’ Romney’s recent trip to England, Poland, and Israel, an opportunity for the Republican Nominee to display his foreign policy credentials, was a public relations disaster. And his recent attack of Barack Obama’s foreign policy, over the explosion of anti Americanism in the Middle east caused by a movie released in the USA depicting the Prophet Muhammad negatively, only made Romney look opportunist and desperate, and certainly not presidential.
Increasingly, the Democratic Party is looking better on foreign policy and national security these days: the normal reserve of the Republicans. And Americans remember the debacle of 911, when instead of using all resources and effort in hunting down Bin Laden and his men in Afghanistan and Pakistan, George Walker Bush, instead marched into Iraq. This was a profound error that cost the US hundreds of billions annually, led to hundreds of thousands of deaths and injuries, and prolonged the hunt for the real perpetrators of the worst attack in history on US soil.
On the other hand, the scalps of Osama Bin Laden and a number of the world’s most dangerous terrorists hang comfortably on a wall in the Oval Office. No terrorist is safe from the reach of the US Commander in Chief these days. Add to that collection, a bloody Libyan dictator; and the space on the wall appears readily available to hang even more scalps: an ominous warning to the likes of Assad and others. The US President is a powerful leader, with a formidable military and intelligence arsenal, fully capable of striking America’s enemies anywhere and at anytime.
Romney appears harassed when faced with criticism: a professional liability for a politician. Now, President Obama may be thought of as liberal, a bad word to conservatives, but that label can pertain only to his social and economic policy. In foreign affairs, if anything, he has shown himself an eagle, a darker version of ‘John Wayne.’ A successful fight against terrorist strongholds in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, has established his tough guy credentials; a personality trait US citizens admire in their leaders.
However, Mitt Romney, a super wealthy businessman, is considered the better man to manage the US economy, well, until the Democratic Convention in September, that is. No modern US President has won an election with the type of economy the President is currently presiding over.
The Challenger possesses a critical advantage when voters are feeling financially insecure. And in an election game where money matters Romney has bigger financial backers it appears. His team has been raising more money monthly than Barrack’s campaign machine. This is a pointer to Romney’s comfort level with big business, and vice versa. Romney’s cash may also spell problems for the Democrats later in the campaign.
The US Leader is seen as a lover of big government, a Washington Insider, and a lifelong bureaucratic type who is not good for free enterprise and US capitalism: a community worker turned politician. That is an unfair assertion, however. But in a USA where consumers are feeling insecure, and fretful, over the state of the economy, an effective business manager and entrepreneurial type persona appears a Knight in Shining Armour.
To be continued