President Obama faces several important decisions in the coming months. With oil prices soaring, with unemployment still near 9 percent, with major conflicts occurring abroad and major fiscal decisions to be made, Issues vital to domestic and international security remain unanswered by President Obama. More importantly, he confronts these issues now lacking a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives. So the question on the table is: will the President handle these matters pragmatically or will we see the divisive liberal he was in his first two years?
It is worth noting that Obama was the most Liberal Senator during his tenure in the United States Senate. He voted on his party line 95 percent of the time, more than notable liberals such as Ted Kennedy, Chris Dodd, Hilary Clinton, and Joe Biden. So compromising and negotiation have never been a strong priority for Obama. But most importantly, Obama ran a campaign in 2008 centered on a moderate approach to help our country, rather than a divisive one. Needless to say, this was not true of his first two years as President. While racking up trillions of dollars in national debt, forcing a healthcare bill that 67 percent of Americans did not want, and implementing stiff regulations on businesses, the American people decided that we should take a page out of the Obama campaign book and “change” our House of Representatives.
President Bill Clinton faced a similar dilemma in 1995. After a divisive first two years in the White House, he moved to the center after the Democratic Party faced disastrous mid-term elections in 1994. Similarly, President Obama needs to make the decision: is it another 2 years of hard-left or is it time to move to the center? With unemployment rates resting at 9%, it is difficult to imagine President Obama will be able to excite Americans the way he did back in 2008. It will be difficult for President Obama to show all the good he has done for America since taking charge while unemployment has worsened, spending is out of control, and our energy “independence” is about as independent as our need to borrow from China.
This past month, Obama has taken on a more centrist role by signing a bill that extended the Bush Tax cuts and unemployment benefits. This was a pragmatic move on his part because it gives businesses the reassurance that the tax cuts are here to stay—for now. However, many foreign policy decisions remain on the table that he has very little experience with. How is America to know that Russia will cooperate with the START treaty? What is Obama’s real solution with North Korea’ s developing missile program? What are the new objectives in Afghanistan?
Anything short of a major national security disaster, Obama’s reelection rests entirely on the economy. If unemployment shrinks and the economy revives, reelection will most likely come through for the President. If things keep going the way they are, he will be voted out of office. President Obama has many important decisions to make in the coming 2 years; I hope he makes the best and most pragmatic decisions for the development of our great country. This is not a time to root against our leaders, but a time to hope they make the right decisions.