On Bryce’s Mind
In last week’s column we talked about some things Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney needs to have and do to gain 270 electoral votes and beat incumbent Barack Obama. Now it’s Obama’s turn. Let’s see what he needs to do in order to gain votes, and regain his office.
In a YouTube video posting attached to a page from Sept. 3 on hamptonroads.com, Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick said that in order to be re-elected, President Barack Obama should get over bragging (and, to a certain degree, fundraising). Obama has had quite a bit to brag about; issuing the order to eliminate Osama Bin Laden, bringing back the auto industry with stimulus funds, and getting an attempt at health care reform passed. (There’s also job growth, and repealing “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” [a rule that banned openly gay persons from serving in the Armed Forces], but it’s debatable if that can all be pinned to Obama.)
But there’s braggadocio, and then there’s getting down to business.
Around this time last year, a post on chigagonow.com’s Third Coast/Third World said that Obama has to do seven things: “Separate Romney from RomneyCare”, “Face the suspicion that he’s a closet Republican head-on”, “Let go of the rope” (talking about Congress there), “Fight it out on foreign policy”, “Look out the White House window”, “Preview the memoir” and “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs”. While some of it is kind of out of date (the post mentions protests about the Keystone XL pipeline, which in the media now has pretty much faded into obscurity), quite a bit of it is true.
Some tenets of “RomneyCare” are similar to the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), but Obama needs to show off nonpartisan estimates on what would happen if his signature attempt at health care reform gets repealed by GOP members in the Senate and the House (without replacing it with something similar or better).
Obama definitely needs to fight. In the foreign policy arena he has a slight edge over Romney, considering he has had experience, as president of the United States, in dealing with other countries. He needs to paint Romney’s response to Obama’s handling of the situation in Libya, and Romney’s trip a few months back, as foreign policy failures.
He also needs to fight in the area of the economy, in which Romney was supposed to have an edge. He needs to paint himself as a champion of the middle and working classes, someone who can help set the country in a better direction, and someone who can fix the problems with debt and unemployment. He also needs to embrace the Simpson-Bowles plan, or a plan that makes Romney’s plan to cut taxes for everyone, and Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” seem inferior.
Currently on the CNN electoral map, Obama is a safe bet to win in California, Washington, Oregon, Minnesota, Illinois, New York, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland and Rhode Island. Michigan, Pennsylvania and New Mexico were leaning toward Obama, while Nevada, Ohio, Colorado, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Iowa, New Hampshire and Wisconsin were still battleground states. Maps on Huffington Post, elections.nytimes.com, electoralmap.net, realclearpolitics.com, and 270towin.com concur, though electoral numbers on each site are somewhat skewed.
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