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Republicans have run, often and loudly, with the message that President Obama has no record to his time in office. The implication here is that, in hie four years in office, Obama has done nothing except twiddle his thumbs, allow the deficit to explode on his watch, and pass a marginally useless and, one would think after seeing some critiques of the policy, criminal health care bill. That, the critics say, is no example of leadership, or of how a President should behave while in office. Being a Democrat, the argument made little sense to me. After all, while Obama may not have accomplished all of the things he said he would, he does have a record.
But then I took a second look at these arguments. I have not changed my initial views about them. They still reside somewhere out in the ozone layer in terms of credibility and accuracy. However, after much deliberation, examination and brow-beating on my part, I have come to this conclusion; The "Obama has no record" argument makes little sense if you look at his record, but it does raise a fair and interesting point. Obama can not run on his record.
Here is a small list of Obama's accomplishments during his first four years;
1. He signed a stimulus bill that ultimately put 4.1 million people back to work, and led to 28 consecutive months of job creation.
2. He bailed out Chrysler and General Motors, basically saving the auto industry as we know it. Minnesota, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and other rust belt states have much to thank him for. The Auto bailout saved a crucial part of their economy.
3. Obama signed the Lily Ledbetter Act, which put an end to years of unequal pay for women.
4. Obama signed an executive order requiring law enforcement to overlook all undocumented immigrants under the age of sixteen who had been brought into the country by their parents.
5. Obama passed the Affordable Care Act ( also known as The Health Care Bill, or Obama-care).
These are some mighty accomplishments, from a President who had to work with an obstructionist Congress for the last two years. However, their remains a big problem facing Obama going into November. It's still the economy, stupid. And Obama still has an 8.3 percent unemployment rate on his watch. Obama can say that his policies have the economy moving in the right direction. He cannot say that the economy has been saved by his policies. Not yet, and, if he loses in November, not ever.
When the economy is just crawling out of a terrible recession, 23 million people remain without jobs, and a large number of people have simply stopped looking for work, it is inadvisable to boast of other achievements. Obama has a hefty list to his name, but, as Republicans say, he cannot run on them. Obama must face the economic headwinds, and convince voters that his economic policies merit a second term. In order to win, Obama has to answer two questions; How have his policies helped Americans? How will we be better off four years from now, if he is reelected?
So far, Obama has gotten a pass from answering these questions, mainly because Mitt Romney seems determined to lose his election bid. Romney recently took the focus off of the economy, yet again, by wading into a foreign policy issue. This comes as a shock, because Romney has just given Obama a chance to press his advantage with foreign policy. Obama will probably continue to emphasize that this election is all about a choice. That choice is this; Do we want Mitt Romney, who has no experience in foreign policy, and has an economic plan that would take us eight years backward, or do we want Obama to continue guiding our nations economy in the right direction?
Just my two cents, but the debates should be very interesting.