Published April 25, 2012
After five states hold primaries this week, President Barack Obama is all but certain to officially win the number of delegates needed to be the Democratic nominee for the 2012 presidential election --- an election he will most likely win.
On camera and in print, Republican officials and strategists are boastful about GOP prospects to take the presidency. But behind the scenes, even the most publicly audacious Republicans are quite sanguine about their fall prospects. It’s partly about Mitt Romney. The Republican base had to hold its collective nose to support Romney and, even then, he only narrowly achieved front-runner status and remains outright detested by high margins of the party faithful.
But frankly, even if Ronald Reagan himself were to rise from the grave --- and be allowed to run as a Republican within an increasingly, aggressively Right wing party --- there is little chance that Republicans would win back the White House this fall. Why? No doubt some of you reading this can’t manage to find a single thing likeable about President Obama or his leadership. You, however, are not the voters who decide general elections. And while you have already decided who to vote for, among independent and swing voters the election is literally just beginning. No debates yet. No ads. No chance for the President to present the facts of his Administration’s accomplishments and poke holes in the job-destroying record of Governor Romney.
What record, you scoff with the putrid taste of partisanship in your mouth? Suck on this:
·Job Creation: When President Obama took office, the economy was losing over 700,000 jobs per month. Through March 2012, the President’s policies have added 4.1 million new private sector jobs. That’s 25 consecutive months of positive, private sector job growth.
·Investing in American Manufacturing: Under President Obama, America has seen its first year-over-year manufacturing job growth since 1997. And notably, the President saved the American auto industry --- the engine and pride of American manufacturing and a move for which 1 million American workers are clearly grateful.
·Health Care Reform: Under the President’s Affordable Care Act, 34 million Americans --- who were previously uninsured and making us all pay more when they used ER treatment for primary care --- will now have health insurance. The American people agreed that something had to be done about runaway costs and the lack of comprehensive coverage, and the President took the leadership not to make excuses or put up obstacles but do something about the problem.
·Tax Cuts: President Obama cut taxes for 95% of American families. Meanwhile, most millionaires and billionaires pay lower taxes than average Americans. The President supports raising taxes on the very wealthy instead of cutting Medicare and public education --- a move that the majority of voters also support.
·National Security: See, e.g., Osama bin Laden.
I could go on. An energy policy that doesn’t just give handouts to the wealthy dirty oil businesses of the past but invests in the energy --- and economy --- of the future. Standing up for equal pay for women and reproductive choice. Raising public school standards and doubling investments in scholarships. No one in the President’s camp is going to argue the economy is as strong as we’d all wish nor that the work of fixing our health care system or public schools is complete. Indeed, I’ve spent much of my energy criticizing the President for not doing more on these fronts --- taking even bolder leadership with less regard for the carping and moaning obstructionism of Republicans. But make no mistake about it, as our nation’s leader during the second-worst economic recession in history, President Obama has a very strong record to fight on. And, as the saying goes, he’s only just begun to fight.
Things might look better for Mitt Romney had he created more jobs than he killed in the pursuit of his personal fortune. Or had he stuck to a consistent set of principles instead of flip-flopping his way across the electoral landscape of his career. Or if he would stop talking about his friends who don’t just watch NASCAR races but own them. Or if, instead of falling woefully behind President Obama on personal likeability polls, Romney would take a page from the Tupac concert and fashion a more warm and friendly hologram of himself to hit the campaign trail.
Still, even if Mitt Romney could pull off the impossible and become a likeable candidate without a checkered personal and political history, he would still be running against a very strong opponent with a very strong record. Oh yeah, not to mention the incumbent. But Romney and the Republicans will keep pinning their hopes on a dream of a chance at victory, while President Obama hangs his hat on the very real and very impressive accomplishments of his leadership.
Sally Kohn is a Fox News Contributor. You can find her online at http://sallykohn.com or on Twitter at http://twitter.com/sallykohn