The Obama campaign is in trouble. Big trouble. And that’s because it is increasingly making itself about small things. Kid stuff, like Big Bird and binders. Forced to defend President Obama’s dismal economic record over the past four years, his disciples look to latch onto anything that could be turned into a meme or a Saturday Night Live sketch.
There’s one problem with their strategy: independent voters with half a brain aren’t in the mood for jokes. The United States had over 40 months of 8 percent unemployment. Currently, the jobless rate stands at 7.8 percent. The nation is $16 trillion dollars in debt and we just had an American ambassador slaughtered in the Middle East by terrorists. The guy who ran on the soaring vagueness of “Hope and Change” now has a record to defend, and it’s not one that has your average American in the mood to crack jokes.
Immediately after the second presidential debate, a liberal friend of mine said it was a bad night for Mitt. I told him to take off his partisan goggles, and he made a joke about binders. Fair enough, but it’s illustrative of where Obama’s supporters are at the moment, which happens to be somewhere outside the realm of reality.
For a guy who didn’t do so hot last night, the CNN snap-poll and the MSNBC focus groups seem to suggest otherwise.
Obama won the overall debate, 46-39%, but Romney beat him senseless on all the important individual issues like the economy, health care, deficit, and taxes.
Unlike the CBS poll, CNN polled registered voters, not just undecideds.
Economy: Romney wins 58-40%
Health care: Romney wins 49-46%.
Taxes: Romney wins 51-44%.
Deficit: Romney wins 49-36%.
Strong leader: Romney wins 49-46%.
The worst news is that 25% of voters switched their vote to Romney and 25% went to Obama. In other words, Obama didn’t move the ball, which is what he needed to do.
Romney’s goals last night were nothing like Obama’s. Romney simply needed to look presidential. He needed to look a like a reasonable, intelligent man who could be trusted in the Oval Office. The first debate established his credibility with 70 million Americans, and the second was an opportunity to further flesh out his ideas and win over voters. He did that — and then some.
When voters are alone in the voting both they will think first and foremost about the economy. Romney pounded the president on that all night, and he landed some serious blows.
He said that by now we’d have unemployment at 5.4 percent. The difference between where it is and 5.4 percent is 9 million Americans without work. I wasn’t the one that said 5.4 percent. This was the president’s plan. Didn’t get there.
He said he would have by now put forward a plan to reform Medicare and Social Security, because he pointed out they’re on the road to bankruptcy. He would reform them. He’d get that done. He hasn’t even made a proposal on either one.
He said in his first year he’d put out an immigration plan that would deal with our immigration challenges. Didn’t even file it.
This is a president who has not been able to do what he said he’d do. He said that he’d cut in half the deficit. He hasn’t done that either. …
The middle class is getting crushed under the policies of a president who has not understood what it takes to get the economy working again. He keeps saying, “Look, I’ve created 5 million jobs.” That’s after losing 5 million jobs. The entire record is such that the unemployment has not been reduced in this country. The unemployment, the number of people who are still looking for work, is still 23 million Americans. There are more people in poverty, one out of six people in poverty.
These are the issues that concern the American people at this time. They do not care about Big Bird. They do not care about how Mitt Romney phrases an anecdote about his attempt to hire highly qualified women for his cabinet. And as long as President Obama’s supporters want to laugh at trivial matters while the country faces serious issues, they will be setting themselves up for a crier on November 7th.