• Where in the world is Obama?
    October 15,2012

    Where in the world is Obama?

    What are the secret service doing? Why do I ask? Because someone has clearly kidnapped Barack Obama and sent in Jesse Jackson, Jr. to speak for him (or not speak for him, as seems more true).

    I am not given to hysteria or panic. We can (and still will, I think) win this election.

    That said, I woke up somewhere between deeply disappointed and just plain pissed. Axelrod, Plouff and Kerry are really smart guys, so I do not believe they counseled their boss to do the following during debate prep. But there are none so deaf as those who refuse to hear, Mr. President. Were these the key points your advisers stressed?

    Don’t mention the 47 percent of Americans who are “victims” according to your opponent;

    Don’t demand specifics on “which deductions?” Romney would eliminate: Mortgage? Child care? Education expense?;

    Don’t challenge pre-ObamaCare insurance restrictions on pre-existing conditions or coverage of children under 26;

    Don’t focus on the abysmal failure of private enterprise — insurance & managed care companies — to constrain costs while repeating profits;

    Don’t claim any credit for saving the auto-industry from extinction. Or for creating more jobs than your predecessor did in 8 years;

    Don’t challenge attribution (x3) that you wasted $70 billion on green jobs; renewable energy; and campaign contributors;

    Don’t mention Bain Capital, off-shore tax shelters, tax returns (2002 through 2009), outsourcing jobs to China, abortion rights or Todd Akin’s belief in “legitimate rape”;

    Don’t ask what will happen to the 26 percent of uninsured people in Texas (Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida...) if coverage is deferred to the “states”;

    Don’t ask what will happen to poor people and hungry children if Medicaid is slashed 30 percent and “caring for the poor” is left up to the “states”;

    Don’t tell people that your administration killed Bin Laden when Bush didn’t, after all, it’s a domestic debate and Romney won’t mention Lybia;

    Don’t blame Republicans in congress for choosing to gut defense spending (sequestration) rather than negotiate w/Democrats in good faith;

    Don’t give an articulate five-point plan for the future of the economy if people will just vote for a congress that drinks coffee or juice, not just tea;

    Don’t look tired, depressed, or disengaged (unless you want to celebrate your 21st anniversary w/dinner that you have to pay for out-of-pocket);

    Don’t assume that the first debate matters. Probably 40 percent of the night’s audience will tune in next time. Just ask candidates Gore, Kerry & Carter.

    But no doubt Obama advisers did offer at least one positive position to balance all of the above ‘Don’t’ admonitions. To wit:

    Do assume that you will be the first president ever re-elected with unemployment above 8 percent. That is, unless you don’t want to expand the ranks of those looking for a new job Nov. 8. I hear the law school at University of Chicago has an opening for a constitutional professor, tenure track, life time employment guaranteed; no running for office required.

    What are the secret service doing about the kidnapping of the president?

    I grew up in Chicago. Surely no pol from Chicago would allow such a mugging to occur! (Hire Rahm of the truncated middle digit as your debate coach for your next outing. And listen to him, expletives and all. I don’t want to be pissed; I want you to be pissed! Now. Remember 2008? YES YOU CAN!!!)

    But really, it was just one debate and Obama didn’t have a good night. So what? Why am I upset? After all, going into the debate all the polls showed him leading within (or without) the margin of error. In polls we have trust, don’t we? Well, here are a couple more you might want to believe in,

    1.) Overnight poll: Romney cares about people like you?

    October 2: 27 percent

    October 4: 60 percent

    2.) Overnight poll: Among uncommitted voters?

    Obama: Up 2 percent

    Romney: Up 12 percent

    Good morning, Mr. President, time to smell the roses in the White House garden and ask yourself a question: Do you really want four more years?

    You will win 3 electoral votes from the great (but very small) state of Vermont no matter what you do next, Mr. President. But to borrow a line from another great pol from the Land of Lincoln, who JFK introduced to the 1956 Democratic National Convention in Chicago as ‘the man from Libertyville, Adlai Stevenson...” (I grew up in Libertyville, Ill., just down the road from Stevenson’s farm).

    Stevenson, in a losing effort, responded to a close adviser’s proclamation that “Surely, Governor, every thinking American will vote for you...”

    “Alas, we need a majority...”

    Dan Anderson


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