Sunday, September 11, 2011
What started as grumblings in the blogoshere over President Obama’s commitment to core Democratic principles like Medicare and Social Security, as well as the veracity of his campaign promises to end DOMA and the 10-year Afghanistan war, has reached elected Democratic lawmakers and party leaders at all levels who express anxiety over the president’s reelection prospects.
With only 14 months until the general election, new signs of a weakening economy, and a job approval in the high 30’s, suddenly the president looks vulnerable to Republican challengers like former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and current Texas Gov. Rick Perry, both who have executive experience built around job creation.
According to an article in Sunday’s New York Times:
“In my district, the enthusiasm for him has mostly evaporated,” said Representative Peter A. DeFazio, Democrat of Oregon. “There is tremendous discontent with his direction.”
“The frustrations are real,” said Representative Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, who was the state chairman of Mr. Obama’s campaign four years ago. “I think we know that there is a Barack Obama that’s deep in there, but he’s got to synchronize it with passion and principles.”
His own economic advisers concede that the unemployment rate, currently 9.1 percent, is unlikely to drop substantially over the next year, creating a daunting obstacle to re-election.
Liberals have grown frustrated by some of his actions, like the decision this month to drop tougher air-quality standards.
And polling suggests that the president’s yearlong effort to reclaim the political center has so far yielded little in the way of additional support from the moderates and independents who tend to decide presidential elections.
For reasons known only to him, President Obama has chosen to ignore until this past Thursday, showing leadership on the number one issue the American people are most concerned about: jobs. And with unemployment stubbornly stuck above 9%, even last Thursday’s jobs speech may be too little, too late for Mr. Obama to win reelection.