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The summer heat continues and the race for the White House drags on.
So far President Obama says vote for me because the other guy is rich; and the other guy, Mitt Romney, says vote for me because the other guy is too liberal and doesn’t understand how the economy and American businesses work. Caught in the middle are the American people who are learning little from either candidate other than how bad each of them is.
This kind of political campaign plays into the hands of the incumbent. People tend to vote for whom and what they know, even if they don’t like it. They may object to President Obama and his programs and leadership; but, if he convinces them that Mitt Romney could be just as bad or worse, voters will hold their noses and vote for Obama. Such is the hope and re-election strategy of the Obama campaign.
One would think that a campaign for president would be a campaign of the highest standards with intelligent conversation about our nation. One would also expect that the incumbent president would be running on his record rather than running from it. And you would think that his opponent would offer insightful criticism and a different perspective and vision for the future. Unfortunately, neither campaign offers an intelligent discussion of the past four years or much insight into the next four years.
The Obama campaign says Mitt Romney is too wealthy to be president, and he is out of touch with the middle class and working people. Obama says the rich are not paying their way, and he insists that taxes on the “rich” must go up. A major portion of the Obama campaign is class warfare. This type of campaign is unworthy of an incumbent President and demeaning to the Office of the President. Presidents should work to bring the country and her people together, not work to divide them.
By comparison the Romney campaign is rather laid back, somewhat dull, and full of tactical errors. Gov. Romney criticizes President Obama’s record but offers little insight into what he would do as president. He says he would repeal Obamacare, but there are parts of it that the American people like such as coverage for pre-existing conditions. Mr. Romney should state clearly what he will do with Obamacare. Will he say he will keep parts of it? He should. But if he doesn’t he may lose votes.
Mitt Romney should release all of his financial records. Everything. When the American people elect their president they have a right to know everything about him, especially his finances. In addition, Mr. Romney should lay out his vision for America. Where does he want to see this nation in four years and how does he plan to get there. He cannot hope to win the election without a vision. He may be waiting for the Republican Convention and Labor Day to begin laying out that vision. But that vision must be clear and one that the American people will rally around. If it is fuzzy or not well thought out or explained, the Romney campaign will likely crash and burn.
President Obama should also talk about the next four years; but, given the unpopularity of his hall mark legislation on health care and the failure of his economic policies, the President’s views for the future of America are not ones most Americans will likely rally around. Confidence in Mr. Obama is very low, and he is not campaigning from a position of strength.
So that leaves me with this thought. Where are the great leaders who made America great? Is there another George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, John Adams, or Alexander Hamilton out there? We need him desperately. We don’t need more banter about Obama’s vacation in Martha’s Vineyard or Romney’s jet ski vacation.
Let’s hope that by Election Day a true leader will emerge who has captured the minds and hearts of the American people who will then vote for their candidate and not settle for merely voting against the other guy which is where most Americans are today.