President Obama and his allies have made it no secret that phony wars and empty rhetoric will dominate the 2012 presidential election.
Before Obama’s official re-election campaign kick-off speeches today, we knew the Obama 2012 campaign would revolve around three themes: the so-called Republican War on Women (because Obama needs to female vote to win), class warfare (because Obama needs to divert attention from his embarrassing jobs record) and what I’m now referring to as the War on Students (because Obama needs young people to volunteer for his campaign).
Obama’s speeches in Ohio and Virginia today gave away five additional themes the President will likely hammer throughout the 2012 campaign.
5. Shared Obligations
Obama doesn’t believe that just the rich are obligated to pay more money in taxes. He believes we’re all obligated to give more of our income to the government because “America only prospers when we meet our obligations to one another and future generations.”
Obama obviously believes that it’s the government’s responsibility to make sure Americans are meeting their “obligations” to one another. The government achieves that through mandates and taxes.
If Obama wins re-election, the individual mandate that forces all Americans to buy health insurance (and more importantly forces young & healthy people to pay for the health insurance of sick & older people) and the “Buffett Rule” will be nothing compared to the progressive policies Obama is likely to put in place during his second term when he has “more flexibility.”
4. Lowered Expectations
For a candidate whose campaign slogan is “Forward,” Obama spends a lot of time looking backward to 2008.
Conservatives and Republicans often accuse Obama of continuing to “blame Bush” for our country’s current economic woes. But I think the Obama’s 2012 campaign is attempting to lower expectations.
“We came together in 2008 because our country had strayed from these basic values,” Obama said, before reciting a list of of problems America faced in 2008.
In a terrible economy, the Obama campaign’s only moves are to claim that Mitt Romney isn’t as qualified as Obama to manage an economy recovery (which is tough given Romney’s background business) and to give the appearance that no matter how abysmal the current economy, it’s way better now than it was in 2008.
Obama’s main goal is not to blame Bush (though he does that, too), it’s to shape the definition of success and prosperity. As long as Obama can prove his record is better than the previous Republican President’s was and and by association a potential Republican President Romney’s would be, he will meet disheartened Americans’ constantly decreasing expectations.
3. Team Effort
The Obama campaign is now calling it’s community organizers and precinct captains “Team Leaders” as part of it’s effort to make volunteers for the Obama campaign feel they are part of a team effort.
Likewise, Obama is playing off of Americans’ base desire to be included and wanted. Obama repeatedly reminded voters that “It will take sustained persistent effort, yours and mine, for America to recover.”
Saying ‘we’re all in this together’ allows Obama to dodge responsibility for the economy.
This theme also has the benefit of humanizing Obama as Democrats attempt to make Mitt Romney look like he is “out-of-touch” with average Americans who don’t have his wealth.
Look for Obama to continue to attack Americans who are supporting Mitt Romney for not being team players simply because they do not want to be don’t want to be part of his “team effort.”
2. Republican Bromance
As soon as House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), Democratic National Committee pounced on Romney and Ryan’s “bromance” even creating a special web ad for the occasion. Democrats have since used the endorsement to tie Romney to Ryan’s latest budget, which Democrats have claimed would do everything from “take a machete to programs that help the least fortunate” to widespread starvation.
Since Romney all but became the GOP nominee for President, a number of conservative House Republicans have rallied around Romney.
Today, Obama claimed “Republicans in Congress have found a nominee for President who has promised to rubber stamp this agenda if gets the chance.”
Setting aside the fact that the Republican voters across the country selected Mitt Romney as the GOP nominee – not House Republicans – Romney was hardly the Tea Party favorite to win the Presidential nomination.
Even Establishment Republican and Speaker of the House John Boehner didn’t seemed thrilled to endorse Romney and said as recently as last Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union that he hadn’t even talked to Romney, despite endorsing him nearly two weeks earlier.
Furthermore, Romney actually sided with the President and against House Republicans on the recent student loan interest rate cut debate .
Faced with the near certainty that the GOP will maintain its control of the House of Representatives, the Obama campaign will tie House Republicans to Romney, who faces an uphill battle.
1. Government Regulation
Government regulation is trademark of modern American liberalism and will be a trademark theme of the Obama 2012 campaign. Specifically, that capitalism only succeeds when activities and enterprises are heavily regulated by the government.
“And we know these rules aren’t just good for seniors or kids or consumers, they’re good for business, too. They’re part of what makes the market work,” Obama claimed.
Notice that Obama deliberately referred to our country’s economic system as the “market” and not the “free market.” Obama hopes to convince voters that economy isn’t growing at a faster pace because Republicans are obstructing the government (Read: Obama) from stimulating the government with increased spending.