An open letter to the Obama re-election campaign
Dear Barack and Michelle Obama, Joe Biden, and the rest of you who bombard my email daily:
Please stop. Please stop sending me the same dire message over and over.
Please stop reminding me that you are campaigning against a multi-millionaire backed by several billionaires. Please stop updating me on how badly your campaign is being "outspent" by the Romney campaign.
Please stop asking me for $25.
You should be proud of being outspent!
It's not that I don't want you to win in November. I do. I really do.
It's just that your constant pleas for paltry sums of money do not inspire me to believe you will win, or that you believe you will win. I mean, if you're so desperate that you have to email me every day for $25, you really must be in trouble. Even if you got 1 million of your supporters to kick in $25 each, that would still only be $25 million. Chump change.
Do I believe there is a large fundraising gap between the Obama campaign and the Romney campaign? Absolutely.
But that should be GOOD news, not bad!
Think about it.
Isn't that the whole point?
Isn't this election about the fact that Mr. Romney, himself a multi-millionaire former vulture capitalist, pals around (only) with other mega-money people? Shouldn't we expect him to bring in a boatload of cash with the snap of his fingers?
I'd be a bit worried if the Obama campaign were out-fundraising Romney & Co.
Whereas you, Mr. Obama, represent us rank and file Americans. You know who I mean. We're the Americans whose mortgages are underwater that you've helped with programs like HARP. The ones whose jobs have been shipped overseas to countries where there is no minimum wage. Americans who have worked hard for years -- decades even -- who now find themselves unemployed with their unemployment benefits running out with little hope of being rehired. Americans who cannot afford to send our kids to college without burdening them with student loans they'll be working off for the rest of their lives (assuming they can find jobs).
You are the president for people like me. Not the millionaires; the millions of formerly middle class Americans who are hobbling along working two, maybe three jobs to keep food on the table. Since all of these jobs are part-time, they do not offer benefits. So we have no health insurance. You understand, I know, that people like me are playing Russian roulette just waiting for Little Suzie to burst an appendix or Mom to be diagnosed with diabetes. Then we can add bankruptcy to the list of "yets" we never, as hard-working American Dreamers, imagined we would be facing in our lifetime.
You understand exactly what we're facing. And you've actually done something about it. Yet (and please pardon my frankness here), you and your policies are getting pounded like nails. Instead of the country being jazzed about the Affordable Care Act, it's being packaged and sold as "Obamacare" by the opposition -- and they've turned public sentiment against it.
I could go on and on about the many accomplishments of your administration. Accomplishments you should be proud of and that Americans should also be proud of.
Instead of proactively owning those messages, you're allowing "them" to taint your record with lies and distortions. This is not new to campaign season. It's not just ads paid by Super PACS doing this damage.
The adult in the room
I know you don't like to wrestle in the mud. I know you prefer to take the high road. We all watched how you handled Congress during that ridiculous debt ceiling debacle. You were the adult in the room.
No doubt the constant pounding of Mitch McConnell and his cronies in Congress, not to mention Limbaugh and the other windbags on Faux News, have left you tired and frustrated. I get that.
Of course you're sick and tired of their attacks. Everyone is! But now is not the time to let them see you sweat. Now's the time to muster up some energy and enthusiasm. I mean, it kills me to see Mitt Romney all manic like a bobblehead. Someone wound him up and told him to go be perky. And so he is.
We don't expect perky from you, Mr. President. But we do expect more confidence than you've been showing. It's possible to be sincere and swagger (just a little) at the same time. Don't you remember?
Please do not come to me with hat in hand admitting The Manchurian Candidate has you on the run. I can't believe that. I won't believe that.
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But here's the thing
I must admit I am confused. Here you are the incumbent. You're way more likable than Romney. You're presiding over a Congress with a 12% approval rating -- and everyone in America knows they've been busting your balls since day one. Surely you could use that to your advantage?
I know W left you a giant mess to clean up. I know the recession would have been even more devastating had you not intervened. But "It could have been worse" is not exactly catchy. I know you cannot single-handedly create jobs in this country. But by God, you can point out the hypocrisy of the class of 2010 who rode in on the promise of jobs, jobs, jobs, then created a mass (false) distraction with deficits and debt ceilings and defense of marriage. Now those same people are using their jobs, jobs, jobs mantra against you.
Okay. So I get that it's not that easy to frame or reframe issues in the mind of the public. However, we're on the same team here. We're talking about framing issues to your own supporters.
And even there, you're doing yourself a disservice.
Let me say this again: I am truly dismayed by the constant barrage of money requests. More than that, I'm disheartened by the abject tone of your requests.
It's only August and already I am exhausted. I've got fundraising fatigue.
Enough with the dismal drumbeat of defeat. "They're outspending us." "We've got to close the funding gap." 'Romney's holding another $40,000 a plate fundraiser." "Do you know where Paul Ryan is? Why he's over in Las Vegas cozying up to some casino owner who's vowed to give 20 gazillion dollars to make Obama a one-term president."
And at the end of every email, the same half-hearted pitch to send you $25 by midnight tonight.
Unh hunh. And if we all clap our hands Tinkerbell will be revived.
Fear is the strongest motivator
You're smarter than this
Where are the rah-rah messages to rally your base? What happened to the Barack Obama of 2008? You remember him, the one who sailed right past the heiress apparent to the Democratic nomination? The one who tromped John McCain and his Tea Party pitbull with lipstick in the general election?
Are you telling me that you beat Hillary Clinton and John McCain solely becuase you raised more money than they did?
I doubt that very much.
As I recall, you beat them both by going over and around the mainstream media. You engaged in a brilliant social media campaign using Facebook and Twitter. You inspired people to get out there and work for you with your message of Hope and Change. You rallied support at the grassroots level.
You knew then that paid advertising can only do so much.
In 2008 you had incredible charisma and star power. You had a positive vision of making America great again.You were hailed as a brilliant political tactician. And I gotta hand it to you, you pulled it off.
In 2012 you still have charisma. Plus you have political capital. You still have a positive vision for America and it's even closer now than it was four years ago.
You know -- because you did it -- what it really takes to win over this country.
I don't care how much money Romney throws at this challenge. He doesn't know how to win over this country. You do.
Take away the money and who's left?
Hubber Jon Ewall sees Obama differently. And that's cool
I'm asking you point blank
You keep asking me, "Are you in?"
I could ask you the same question.
Show me Barack is Back. Show me something remotely clever (how about "Obama CARES" as a start) or inspiring. You are in a strength position. Lead from there.
Show me that brilliant political tactition who swooped into town in 2008. Show me you remember how to organize boots on the ground to create a groundswell of excitement.
Show me you're really IN it to WIN it.
Because if you really are, you'll stop pestering me for $25.
I want to support you. I do. So ask me for my time. Ask me to spread the love. Ask me to contribute in a way that makes a real difference. Just like you've tried so hard to do.
You probably can't outspend the opposition. But you can outsmart them.
Please, President Obama. Get out there and show these people the presidency of the United States is not for sale.
Copyright 2012 Mighty Mom on Hub Pages. All rights reserved.
Not acting. He IS presidential.
Learn About the Obama Campaign
- Are You In? — Barack Obama
BarackObama.com is the official re-election campaign website of President Barack Obama. Visit the site for the latest updates from the Obama campaign, including news, videos, and information on how to volunteer and donate to the campaign.
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