- Posted September 3, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Election 2012: Your stories
Reality & The Electorate
One reality Obama will have to deal with along with future Presidents regards campaigning and it’s the fruitfulness of the promises rendered. It would be foolish not to acknowledge how Obama had the innate ability to captivate his audience and rally them towards his causes during his 2008 Presidential Campaign. However, the problem is how Obama let the media and his supporters define him, they expected him to be a savior, one who would be capable to rule without flaw with his inspirational leadership. The media’s enamored nature towards Obama, his supporter’s grandiose expectations coupled with his flamboyant claims on how he will impart change that will lead the country to better place, have created a soaring ceiling of expectations for Obama; a ceiling that four years in he is just barely scratching. Some of Obama’s campaign promises which were delivered in a manner that inspired people, have been carried out, however there is a continuing worry that Obama has lost his mojo. This “mojo” consisted of his ability to get his point across to the common people and inspire them. However, the reality has set in already. Even if Obama were to find his mojo it may not work with voters that have already turned their cheeks the other way due to the dire state the political process is in which is affecting their lives.
Indeed, it is a difficult task to navigating through political currents of dissent, engage voters who have lost it all, work with an unpopular congress with an 11% approval rating and a stubborn economy. Regardless, Obama knew what being President entailed; he should not have been expecting a cakewalk right? It’s not like his campaign skills and tactics were a failure, it just got out of control when the public became overly demanding and started expecting a perfect economy yesteryear. Reality lesson learned: From now on the electorate will engage a campaign with a reasonable amount of suspicion and cynicism. This will make it harder for candidates to make their case. The electorate has learned not to be so gullible and not to be swayed by fancy proposals and inspiring jargon, they have learned that its all part of the game. As Mario Cuomo, who served as the 52nd Governor of the state of New York from 1983 to 1994 once said, “You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose”. Many would argue however Obama has not governed at all, at least not how they would have liked.
Another reality lesson learned: The electorate and the media will now heavily scrutinize candidate’s public policy achievements and experience more than ever. The public has come to realize the far-reaching power of legislation and the possible threat or disadvantage it may cause them or loved ones. They aspire to not be victims any longer. No two pieces of legislation raised this concern than Obama’s Health Care Reform Bill and bailout plan. The Health Care bill, in which 41% of voters nationwide favored the legislation while 54% were opposed when it first was proposed, passed with the slightest of margins in Congress. Now that President Obama has signed the legislation into law and has had its most crucial provisions upheld by the Supreme Court, voters are questioning whether they casted the right ballot in 2008. Reality lesson: Future Presidents will have to meticulously package their proposals in an attempt to sway the public. Obama did not clearly articulate his proposal to the public and pushed it along despite public dissent.
Obama’s policy achievements and the way they were brandished to the people have contributed to his dropping popularity rate. Further, Republicans have developed a scorn for Obama and even some election wary Democrats are carefully stepping away from his aura. Lesson learned: the public will now be more engaged in the public policy process and demand more transparency, accurate facts, specifics on how they factor in etc. In other words, the public should fully understand what the bill does, who it affects, it drawbacks and its effect on their tax dollars.
There are many more realities that should be discussed and will continue to arise as elections come and go. Experience is one of them. In 2008, Obama’s experience was repeatedly labeled as insufficient; will America elect another President with scant past and/or relevant experience? I acknowledge that there is a possibility that realities fall and/or strengthen over time. Their viability strongly depends on the current conditions of the economy and other focal arenas of American productivity needed to be successful and compete. Every President, depending on the way he carries the country has the ability to end a certain reality, form them or even mold them to his administration’s favor.