Saturday, August 11, 2012

Obama not Carter

As I have said many times here on Gubu World Barack Obama is not Jimmy Carter. His Presidency has already been much more successful than that of the 38th President. Republican attempts to portray Obama as a weak apologist who wants to reduce America's power and influence in the world are ineffective, untrue and are likely to backfire in my humble opinion.  This from
A Fox News poll from last week showed that President Obama continues to lead Mitt Romney on foreign policy and national security issues. When asked which candidate they trust to do a better job on handling foreign policy, 51% of respondents selected Obama, compared to just 38% for Romney. The same polling question from June yielded a similar response, with 49% of respondents preferring Obama’s handling of foreign policy to only 38% for Romney’s. Most striking has been data showing domestic support for Obama’s policies toward Iran compared to Romney’s proposals. The same Fox News poll found 43% of people trusting Obama to do a better job on “stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons,” while Romney only received 39% confidence in the same category. This difference comes despite Romney’s frequent criticism of Obama’s patience toward Iran and hawkish rhetoric in favor of potential military action. This poll comes on the heels of recent increase in sanctions against the Iranian regime, which 74% of respondents in an ABC News/Washington Post poll supported compared to only 41% who supported potential military action.

This public sentiment is nothing new, and demonstrates that Romney’s recent foreign policy trip to the U.K., Israel, and Poland did nothing to increase voter confidence in his national security credentials. In fact, according to recent polling data from Reuters/IPSOS, opinion of Obama’s foreign policy rose from 47-51%, while Romney’s remained at a static 35%. When it comes to defending the United States from terrorism, Obama again holds a substantial lead. A survey from the beginning of July by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that 50% of the respondents thought that President Obama would do the best job of defending the country from terrorist attacks, while Romney only received 38% of public support. Though polling data only represents one measure by which to judge how the public feels about a candidate’s ability, it is a very clear one. During a time where stories of political conflict and civil war make front page headlines daily, it is paramount that we have a strong leader making decisions about our foreign policy strategies.
 Many Republicans seem to view the upcoming election as being similar to that in 1980

If Mitt Romney wants to be the next President he will have to focus on the economy and on the ever increasing perception among moderates that Obama is hostile to the private sector and that his ultimate goal is in fact to transform the US economy into the European model which has a much greater social net. Many people on this side of the Atlantic find it difficult to understand why conservative Americans and even many moderates view the US model of self reliance to be the source of Americas strength and that the welfare state as practised in Europe is what guarantees a nation a future of mediocrity. This I believe strikes a cord with the silent majority in the US and if the Romney campaign are clever about it and succeed in hammering that message home whilst refraining from personal and negative attacks against the immensely likable President, the Republicans will win in November. 


Gary said...

Opinion polls at this point in the election are almost meaningless. Most Americans do not "tune in" to the election until around the first of September. I am always surprised, when I casually mention politics to friends and acquaintances, at the blank stares and lack of any knowledge of even the basics -even something as simple as who is running against Obama.

Obama's foreign policy has not been the failure the Republicans have suggested -but it has not been the big success that you are suggesting either. And his domestic and economic policies have been disastrous. The European model is a really bad example and Obama is wrong to try and move America towards that model. His current policies have kept our economy stagnate and unable to recover from the recession.

On the other hand, Romney's real weakness is in his social agenda. He is far too conservative for mainstream Americans and will alienate Independents and minorities if Obama can keep diverting the conversation to those issues instead of the economy. In fact, I would guess that if we were not in the recession Romney would not stand a chance.

There is one thing in all of this that makes me disappointed and mad. Both sides, especially Obama, are resorting to old style politics, including false accusations and lying. A President needs to be a leader people feel they can trust. These political games undermine that and make me not trust nor like either candidate very much.


Cormac said...

As regards foreign policy Obama is much worse than Carter, he let Mubarak fall and has been much more critical of Israel than former presidents.

Carter's failure was that he stood by when the Shah fell and Ayatollah Khomeini then took power.Could you imagine if the Islamic Revolution never had of happened?Iran would be a beacon of stability in a very unstable region, terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah wouldn't exist and Israel would still have relations with Iran.

Obama is doing the same thing, he ignored the plight of the Green Movement following the Iranian Elections and now he's ignoring Iran's nuclear programme.Not only that but he has also let secular regimes fall only to be replaced with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Obama is a weak president, he's been weak on foreign policy, letting China fill America's vacuum and he has been also weak on domestic policies, Obamacare being his only significant achievement and even at that it's controversial.

The System Works said...

"If Mitt Romney wants to be the next President he will have to focus on the economy and on the ever increasing perception among moderates that Obama is hostile to the private sector"

I think we see that strategy in place right now. Paul Ryan is well known for his small-government rhetoric and willingness to propose budgets far more radical than the Republican mainstream. The fact that Romney has chosen him over Pawlenty or Portman is very telling.

However, its not clear whether this will make conservatives forget his tenure in Massachusetts and RomneyCare.

To be honest, I can't think of a big domestic or foreign policy win on the part of Obama these past years.

The one good thing that comes to mind is his lifting of sanctions on Myanmar. Myanmar now is where China was in the 1970s, and the fact that Americans were unable to invest there was a disgrace, which was only strengthening the position of China. Myanmar is a great place to put your money, and is gently making its way towards normality politically. At least Obama hasn't screwed that one up.

The System Works said...

Of course, Ryan comes from a prominent Wisconson Irish family. Along with two others, the Cullens and the Fitzgeralds, they are credited with building much of the southeastern part of the state in the 1800s.

But they didn't build that.

Oh yeah, I went there.

Ted Leddy said...


Fair point on early polls.

I believe that the Obama administration has prosecuted the War on Terror in a much more successful way than the previous administration. The main reason being that special forces and UAV drones have been used to target Al Quaeda. This has produces huge results without leaving a massive military footprint which causes America so many problems in terms of resources and the global bad press that comes with invasions and occupations.

Other aspects of his Foreign Policy are open to interpretation in my view. The unrest in the Middle East is an enigma. It may take many years before we know if the US has handled it well.

I certainly agree with you on the negative ads. I thought the Obama ad about the Bain employee's wife getting cancer was a lowpoint.

Ted Leddy said...

I'll respond to Cormac and John's comments tomorrow evening.

I'm too tired and drunk to do it now.

Paul said...

Perhaps now would be a time to troll about gun control, be rude about Americans and call Israelis Nazis? Furthermore I would repeat verbatim the same hate fuelled leftist dogma and completely fail to engage with any of the points made by my detractors! I'm just predicting how this thread will be hijacked and ruined once that stupid old cunt BM wakes up to it.

Personally I think Romney will win, although I do not regard him as much of a conservative. Paul Ryan brings some reasonable credentials in my eyes to the GOP ticket.

Ted Leddy said...


Welcome to Gubu World and thanks for your comment.

A couple of points. I am not aware of Obama criticising Israel in any way that previous Presidents had not done.

You criticise Obama because "he let Mubarak fall". Consider the following. US policy toward the Middle East from 2001 - 2008 was to bring democracy to the region, by force if nessecay.Now that would look pretty hollow if as soon as unrest emerged in Egypt the US had of taken agressive action to preserve the dictatorship of Mubarak.

Your comment also assumes the US has the ability let alone the moral right to remove or preserve any regime at will. The US is unable to play God. This was true in 79 and it is true today. The unrest in the Middle East has occured in pro and anti western nations. There is no political stability in the region. America is not in control. As far as I am concerned the biggest lesson of the last 2 years is that there is no such thing as a stable dictatorship that you can count of as an ally. Dictatorships are inherantly vulnerable. No American President could have kept the friendly dictatorships in power and punished the unfriendly ones.

We do not know how Obama has handled the Iranian nuclear programme because most efforts to prevent it are covert.

As for your comment re China. I think you'll find that Obama has increased the presence of the US miltitary in the Pacific to its greatest level in decades.

Cormac said...

It's unfortunate but I don't believe democracy is possble inside the Middle East, there's an Arab mentality that has to blame the US and Israel for all of its problems.You mentioned America's use of force however I don't think Iraq is a great example as it was already so divided among sectarian and ethnic lines that any attempt to do so was doomed from the very start.Secular dictators are the lesser of the two evils so the US should of ordered the Egyptian Military to keep Mubarak in power.

Obama has criticised Israel consistently over its settlement policy however he has been more open about his criticisms than most, condemning Israel at his speech in Cairo addresing the Muslim World and he even addressed the UN regarding settlements.

I'm not saying the US is able to play God but it certainly shouldn't stand by and let its allies fall.Carter's response to the Islamic Revolution and the American Embassy Hostage Crisis was weak to say the least.America had a lot of influence on Iran, it was even able to topple Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953.

Response to China:Perhaps but Obama is slashing America's military budget at the same time while China is increasing theirs, plus China have also increased their verbal attacks on its neighbours even threatening to invade some.He has also been weak with the current trade deficit between America and China.

Anonymous said...

I view President Obama as a tenacious person who works quietly and effectively as often as not and I have great hopes for his next term. And Obama's commercial doesn't speak to me of Romney killing a man's wife; rather it faults the lack of insurance/health available to her.