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It’s Not About Defeating Obama

January 17, 2012

Whoever is president needs to be someone who exudes confidence, not bravado. He (or she) needs to be smart without being smarmy. They need to be a leader of everyone, not just their political allies.

When the President was elected in 2008, I remember telling a friend of mine that I “hope they don’t eat him alive” when he gets to Washington.

Sadly, that is what has happened. President Obama is a man of ideals, one of which is giving a voice to everyone. Unfortunately, in the capital that comes across as weakness. He has been painted as a man of weakness, a compromiser, a do-little.

The Republican campaign of 2011-2012 has become a crusade fueled by the president’s perceived weakness, with the battle cry “we need someone who can defeat Obama.”

This is simply not true.

What both the GOP and the President need are backbones.

Two of the strongest presidents of my lifetime have been ideologically opposed, yet unflappable leaders. Ronald Reagan was a big-government conservative. He didn’t back down from a fight, he stood his ground on the world stage, he lowered taxes, ballooned the size of government and grew astronomical federal debt, all while working with a hugely Democratic Congress. Bill Clinton was a capitalist liberal who governed over the greatest period of personal prosperity since Eisenhower (maybe ever), all while working with a Republican Congress (the same Congress which tried to impeach him).

Reagan and Clinton remained immensely popular during their presidencies in spite of those who opposed them. They were able to lead from positions of personal conviction without losing sight of the bigger picture.

President Obama’s downfall has been his inability to remain true to his convictions without seeming wishy-washy.

I like President Obama, even though I have my disagreements with him, especially on abortion. He seems congenial, family-oriented, the kind of guy who would shovel snow from my sidewalk if he knew I wasn’t home. This makes him a great guy, but not necessarily a great president.

(As one pundit said about President Carter, “he proved than anyone can be elected president and at the same time proved that not just anyone can be president.”)

Because the GOP has taken the approach that “we need to find someone who can defeat Obama,” the party is left with choosing style over substance. The campaign has been a disgusting display of slick distortions, silk-stocking PACS throwing millions of dollars around, and inane sound-bites that make intelligent people look like idiots. (Does anyone really think Michelle Bachmann is as stupid as the press made her sound? I’m certain that she is not. She is, after all, a female Congressman, which is an acheivement of its own, and she is a Republican from Minnesota, also a significant accomplishment. She simply can’t produce good sound-bites.)

The “defeat Obama” mantra has put Mitt Romney in the ‘front-runner’ position and this is too bad. If there was ever someone who will say what you want them to say in order to get your vote, it is Romney. He is an elitist and has all the sincerity of a two-bit insurance peddler.

I simply can’t believe people are buying what Romney has to sell – good people, honest people, hard-working and upright people. But they’re willing to buy a lemon from Romney because they’ve been told “he can defeat Obama.”

Frankly, I would rather have another four years of President Obama than a single day of a Romney presidency. I am a life-long Republican, but I know when I’m being hood-winked. I won’t buy the faux GOP package again.

I had to hold my nose to vote for John McCain in 2008 (I can’t believe I did, but the GOP is pro-life). After the 2008 election, I decided I will not do that again. My vote means to much to me to give it to someone who doesn’t deserve it.

Whoever is president needs to be someone who exudes confidence, not bravado. He (or she) needs to be smart without being smarmy. They need to be a leader of everyone, not just their political allies.

Why hasn’t that person stepped forward?


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