BALTIMORE (AP) — Fighting for re-election, President Barack Obama is playing down his historic health care overhaul and the multibillion-dollar recession-fighting stimulus — two landmark efforts of his first three years in office. Those signature policies are unpopular, and voters clearly want the candidates to focus instead on jobs.
Dealing with a slow-moving economy, Obama is imploring voters to stick with him through tough times while promising that better days lie ahead — with him, not Republican foe Mitt Romney. The selling of Obama’s first term, however, isn’t so simple.
The president can’t tell voters about a grand economic comeback story because there isn’t one to tell. In foreign affairs, he can’t declare outright victory in Iraq and Afghanistan so he promotes the ending of a “decade under the dark cloud of war.” Health care reform, his most prominent legislative achievement, is unpopular with many voters and could be struck down by the Supreme Court this month.
Obama’s re-election slogan — “Forward” — aims to fit the times, offering a sober assessment of a nation trying to turn the page from war and economic turmoil under his watch while implying that Republican Romney would take the country backward.
The president offers a steady drumbeat about a “make-or-break moment” for the middle class and creating a country “where everybody gets a fair shot and everybody is doing their fair share.”
Photo Credit: Dustin C. Oliver Creative Commons