Editorial, Opinion

EDIT: Our best option is Obama

In 2008, then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama built his presidential campaign on the idea of hope and change. That theme resonated well with millennials and other Americans unhappy with our country’s state of affairs at that time.

Fast-forward four years: Obama is president and running for re-election. No longer is he a blank slate upon whom people can tack all of their hopes.

Obama’s had his struggles. For instance, he should have directed more of his attention on the economy rather than on health care. With that “should have” and several others, Obama might not be the best candidate for office, but pitted against Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, he is the best option we have.

After much debate, our editorial board has decided to endorse Obama in this election.

While Romney champions himself as the solution to economic recovery, he has not proposed specifics on how he would do so. For instance, his five-point plan is incredibly broad. For someone who says he will solve the economic problems, why are his approaches so unclear?

Romney also desires to spend more on defense and cut down on programs that benefit groups such as the poor and disabled. While it is important to have a strong military, it should not be at the expense of other necessary programs.

Another concern with Romney is that he is a flip-flopper. For instance, in an interview with The Des Moines Register, Romney said he would not introduce abortion laws. However, his campaign website suggested that he would introduce legislation that made abortion illegal, according to an article in The Global Post in October. Candidates should be willing to compromise, but comprising involves clearly stating one’s own views and then being transparent. It is dangerous to elect someone who is not forward about what he originally believes.

In comparison to Romney, Obama is the stronger candidate. He supports small businesses and offers realistic approaches to social issues — he supports a woman’s right to choose what is best for her body — and foreign policy — he appropriately directed us away from an overly broad war on terror to a war that focused on specific terrorists.

He is also joined by a cabinet much stronger than what Romney’s would be. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, for example, has raised public awareness on a variety of issues and has improved moral overseas.

While a new candidate might perform better than Obama, Obama would outperform Romney on a variety of issues.

We’ve seen what Obama can do and hope he can perform better to bring us out of the economic crisis and several foreign issues we are invested in.

5 Comments

  1. What a thin and distressing assessment of the issues in this year’s presidential election campaign … the Daily Free Press should be ashamed of itself for producing such drivel. ‘Romney is a flip flopper’ … Obama is joined by a cabinet much stronger than Romney’s would be’ … Obama would outperform Romney on a ‘variety of issues’ … are you all in the middle of finals or were you out too late last night to actually think? I would expect a better analysis from a high school freshman!

    The country voted OVERWHELMINGLY in the 2010 midterm elections AGAINST the HUGE spending, non-disciplined, partisan and poorly focused democratic leadership – it was a historic election and one that you all seemingly overlooked. Go back and have a look at the facts and then re-ask yourself if the democrats have done ANYTHING to have reversed the issues which led to that THUMPING … you should come up with the answer NO!

    Your endorsement mentions NOTHING about four straight years of trillion dollar deficits, the fact that our country hasn’t operated with an approved budget since this president has taken office, the near $17,000,000,000,000 in national debt and the FACT that our country’s debt rating has been dropped twice under the stewardship of this president (do you realize that would happen if the interest rates on our debt were to tick up even .25% which WILL happen as our credit rating drops), about the countless other missed promises, the unacceptably high rate of UNEMPLOYED recent college grads and the anemic economic growth in the economy, about the stench surrounding the murder of an ambassador +3 and related cover-up?

    AND THE BIGGEST issue of all … what in Barack Obama’s record suggests that the next four years would be any different from the last four? He could have moved to the middle, off the radical agenda that got his party pummeled in the midterms, like Bill Clinton did, but he didn’t. Does he even have enough capacity to understand that ‘the mist is off the lake’ and that most people in the country don’t see him anymore as the smartest guy in the room? While he’s a likable guy, he’s been a terrible leader … and the recent ‘mean streak’ that he’s been showing set’s him up to look more like a Chicago thug than a true statesman — just ask yourself if Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan would ever act that way (Romnesia, calling an opponent a ‘bullsh….r’ or even a ‘liar’ … these are terribly un-presidential!).

    Under president Obama, we’ve degenerated into a level of divisiveness never before seen in this country … he’s been terrible at bringing people together! He’s avoided taking any tough questions from the media and the media has been kissing his ring since he took office …. it’s sets an EXTREMELY distressing tone for journalism going forward (which should really concern a college newspaper).

    And finally, if you truly believe that this election is about women’s issues, or immigration or the rights of gays and lesbians then you’ve truly missed the point — IT’S ABOUT THE ECONOMY, STUPID!

    I don’t especially care which way you fall – Obama or Romney, but seriously, you’re work in assembling this ‘endorsement’ does not earn a passing grade … I expect better from my alma mater.

  2. GS, the country voted OVERWHELMINGLY for Obama too, what do you say about that?

  3. “Under president Obama, we’ve degenerated int”o a level of divisiveness never before seen in this country … he’s been terrible at bringing people together!

    “Our top political priority over the enxt 2 years is to deny President Obama a 2nd term”. How the ehck does one even start “uniting” people” whose “top political priority” is to get you out of power?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-A09a_gHJc

  4. GS, I strongly disagree with many of the points you made.
    1) Your assessment of Obama’s performance as president completely ignores the fact that Republicans in congress have EXPLICITLY blocked every measure that Obama has tried to make to revitalize the economy by abusing the power to filibuster in Senate. The American people should elect Obama if for no other reason than to say to congress (and thereby establish as prescedent) that it is NOT okay to put political games before the needs of the American people.
    2) The rights of women and the LGBT community are NOT dismissible in a poor economy. Human rights are human rights and it is not ok to step on them whenever it is politically convenient to justify bigotry or hate.
    3) The stock market is doing great, the Dow Jones and S&P is back to pre-08/09 levels. Despite this, companies aren’t hiring, proving that trickle-down economics doesn’t work. Lowering tax rates doesn’t increase jobs, an increase in demand increases jobs. I do not believe that Romney’s ideas would be as effective as Obama’s last job bill (which was filibustered out by Senate republicans)

  5. Gary, the country voted overwhelmingly for ‘anyone other than George W. Bush’ … need I remind you that Hillary opposed Barack in the primaries and only narrowly lost. Her supporters ultimately fell into place behind Obama but were hardly pounding the table for him as much as they were for anyone other than a republican. Obama mistook that vote as a mandate to pull the country hard to the left – which the vast majority just simply don’t want. As a country, we’ve been center-right for as long as anyone can remember. Some presidents have taken the country a little further left and others a little further right, but the most successful presidents have governed somewhere near the middle. Obama pulled the country too far to the left and was smacked down because of that move … in the midterm elections – and he made NO course correction but instead continues to push his hard left ideology to a country that isn’t buying. His healthcare bill was enacted into law without a vote and no one actually read the legislation … impossibly sloppy and yet a hallmark of this administration (massive bills which no one has considered how to implement)!

    DR, your characterization of the obstructionist congress is awfully shallow and doesn’t reflect reality. Suppose you’re trying to sell something for $10,000 and a buyer is only willing to pay $9,500. You can probably count on closing the deal as reasonable people will sit down and be able to negotiate the difference. The issue here is that the gap to be negotiated was difference between a $10,000 ask and a $100 offer …. it wasn’t even worth getting started … not gonna happen …. not the difference between apples and oranges, but rather apples and a toaster oven! Obama had control of BOTH houses of congress for 2 years and he blew his filibuster proof advantage working a healthcare bill that was and still is extremely unpopular. You can blame obstructionist congressional republicans all you want, but look at how many democrats voted for the presidents most recent budget …… his was given a $860,000,000,000 stimulus bill and blew it … his record as an ‘investor’ in green energy is abysmal … in fact his record as relates to EVERYTHING financial is a disaster! I’ll repeat, under HIS stewardship, the credit rating of the USA was downgraded TWICE!

    Now as to the rights of women and those in the LGBT community, I have great empathy for their agenda … BUT, if we don’t get our economy straightened out AND FAST it just won’t matter. Our debt to GDP ratios are staggeringly high and we owe the Chinese as well as others a tremendous amount of money. This is the stuff of threatening our national security – our sovereignty, and it takes precedence over EVERYTHING …. just like in bankruptcy court, there’s a point where the decision making is no longer your own. Again, I have great empathy but there’s an order to the issues of the day and this just isn’t number 1 on the list of 10 – and I’m sorry if that offends in any way.

    Lastly, as to stock markets – which is my industry, they’re up because of the fundamental underpinning the individual companies. Companies aren’t hiring because they have absolutely NO IDEA what to expect out of a dysfunctional Washington, DC. Tax rates aren’t clear, the cost of healthcare is a complete unknown, there’s several other new pieces of legislation which need substantial amounts of work to be completed before companies will know what it all means. Unlike the ‘blank check’ approach utilized in DC, business are accountable to shareholders and just simply won’t take a flyer until they have the confidence to do so …. Obama does NOT inspire confidence in business leaders and the lackluster approach to hiring is the result. Check into the last time Obama sat down with his jobs council …. point to one glowing industrial (or even technological) success where his administration made a difference (and please don’t reference GM as that will be a case study in SMG in the years ahead on how jumping the line under bankruptcy just doesn’t work). Obama’s jobs bills have all been train wrecks … poorly thought out gigantic spending packages that show no real likelihood of working or even passing. It’s unclear that he could garner the necessary votes in his own party to get those bills over the line – rest assured if Harry Reid thought there was a way to slam it through, he would!

    I’ll stand by my original thesis, the endorsement was a poorly researched and written piece. I could easily get comfortable with supporting a democrat or a republican, BUT can only do so after thoroughly researching and understanding the facts — not parroting back the nonsense peddled by MSNBC or Fox.

    To close, the board and shareholders of Apple Computer were faced with the need to replace it’s CEO when Steve Jobs passed away. They could have looked inward towards people who had solid experience with the company’s technology, sales, manufacturing etc (not unlike DC looking at its current congress men and women with solid track records of success), it could have also looked at the top people outside of the company but still within the basic industry like someone from say Microsoft or HP or Cisco, IBM etc (in DC, this might be a former governor with a track record) or lastly they could have taken a flyer on, say the head of the United Way – a well meaning sort with absolutely no track record of being able to comprehend the scope and magnitude of the company’s issues. Apple chose to go with the experienced guy who knew how things had been done and how to get things done and guess what Apple is the largest and most successful company in the world. We the People elected someone with absolutely no track record other than being somewhat well meaning ….. and we got exactly what we got … and we’re in deep trouble!