President Barack Obama is ready for the battle although defeat was staring him in the face only months ago with many analysts writing him off as an unfortunate one-time president.
A CNN poll conducted in 2010, half way through his term in office, showed that a majority of the Americans believed that President Obama would not be reelected. It was only in September last year that his Democratic Party lost the special congressional election in New York, considered to be a zealous 'blue' (Democrat) state. But Obama is determined that he will not join the club of post-war one-time presidents as its fourth member. The three already in are Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and George H. Bush.
Notwithstanding the economic crisis, he is confident — at least for now. Two days after he delivered his State of the Union address on Tuesday, Gallup polls yesterday placed his popularity at 49 percent with the graph projecting an upward trend. He gets ready for the November race on a confident note. His State of the Union address was the curtain raiser for his 2012 reelection campaign. But the battle won't be that easy and he knows that.
To his disadvantage, he not only has to face the challenge of his Republican contender but also the wrath of the one percent — or the captains of capitalism — and the powerful Zionist lobby. He believes his pro-people social welfare policies will help him ride out the challenge from the one percent.
In the United States, campaigning is a multi-billion dollar business. For the 2008 presidential election, the candidates spent a record US$ 5.3 billion. A large part of this money came from private donations with public financing accounting for a mere US$ 85 million. According to journalist and author Mark Hertsgaard, the richest 4 percent of the population provide nearly 100 percent of all individual contributions. Of course, the money the rich dole out comes with strings attached: The president has to be pro-business, pro-Wall Street.
But it appears that the one percent have some reservations about Obama. They frowned and branded him a 'socialist' when he came up with his ambitious health care reforms. On Tuesday, Obama again sounded a 'socialist'. In his State of the Union address, he said, "We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by. Or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules. What's at stake are not Democratic values or Republican values, but American values. We have to reclaim them."
If what Obama meant in his speech was fair distribution of the income, then it is not to the liking of the one percent. Though the radical left in the US — a minuscule minority — may dismiss the speech as a political gimmick, it nevertheless is aimed at the masses, the 99 percent and the Occupy-Wall-Streeters.
Whether the speech was populist or otherwise, the reality is that the biggest share of the funds for the election campaign comes from the rich — of course, with a quid-pro-quo. Questions have arisen whether the British Petroleum that was responsible for the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico — said to be the worst in history — escaped criminal prosecution because of its donations to the 2008 Obama campaign.
This time around, the capitalists' campaign donations are likely to make the Republican side of the scale heavier.
Besides, another disadvantage for Obama is that the one percent prefer a newcomer to the incumbent in the race as the former is more malleable and obliged than a second-term president.
This is also the reason why the powerful Zionist lobby will be working against Obama. He has earned the wrath of Israel and the lobby for opposing Tel Aviv's settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, for insisting on a Palestinian state based on the 1967 border and exercising restraint in dealing with Iran's nuclear programme when they felt a military response was warranted. The Israeli lobby is more comfortable with a Republican candidate. With the exception of anti-war maverick Ron Paul, Republican frontrunners Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum are scrambling to beat each other in their efforts to please Israel. Multi-millionaire Romney accuses the Obama administration of weakness in the face of Israel's enemies and failing to be sufficiently supportive of Israel in planning a military strike on Iran.
Gingrich went to the extent of announcing that if he won, his secretary of state would be John Bolton, a hardcore neoconservative and author of the Plan for New American Century, a plan that calls for the United States military dominance throughout the world.
Another of Obama's disadvantages is the state of the economy, which is the main factor that decides who wins the election. He tried to paint a rosy picture of the economy in his speech on Tuesday, though the economy is bogged in a quagmire aggravated by the euro zone crisis.
However, the economic crisis besetting the US is not of his making. He inherited it from the George W. Bush administration and saw the crisis through. He did not let the economy crumble when the country in 2008 faced its biggest financial crisis since the 1929 Great Depression. As he takes the plunge into the campaign waters, he finds solace in the fact that the economy is showing signs of recovery and that his opponents are not as charismatic as he is.
With the full support of the one percent and the Zionist lobby uncertain, the US history's first president from Afro-American descent — his skin colour may be another disadvantage in winning the hearts of some whites — goes directly to the people. His claims about economic recovery may not be convincing enough for the masses, but his claims that he ended the Iraq war as promised and hunted down and killed America's public enemy number one — Osama bin Laden — have greater public appeal. And Obama the politician knows the art of winning hearts by appealing to the patriotic fervor of the masses. He began and ended Tuesday's speech in militaristically patriotic terms.
In any case, despite shortcomings, failures, the war in Afghanistan and the drone massacres in Pakistan, Obama is widely seen as being a lesser evil than the pro-neocon hawks in the Republican camp.
AIPAC has always voted Democrat 'en-bloc'and it may not change in 2012. True some hardcore members of the Jewish lobby are making some noise but they are in the minority supported by the Christian Evangelists. But then again the CE will not vote for a Mormon (Romney) as they see it as a cult and has nothing to do with Christianity because of their book of mormon. Considering all this Obama, has a very good chance, his 'war chest' is in excess of a Billion dollars and could match and counter that of Romney who is a millionaire and could spend on negative advertising.
Kaslana Saturday, 28 January 2012 02:29 PM
Obama can do it a second time, thankfully in the absence of a stiff opponent like Ron Paul and aided by some of the dumbest voters in America. Obama if lucky will remain to fool the people a second time as he did in his first because he is no different a president who has borrowed page out of the Bush administration. Obama is no socialist or for the down trodden. He is advocate of corporate, big bank and mega corporate oligarch and wall street swindlers as was his predecessors.
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