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Joe Guzzardi Lofty jobless rate makes President Obama vulnerable

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Joe Guzzardi

Posted: Saturday, June 18, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 10:10 am, Mon Jun 20, 2011.

As President Barack Obama's re-election campaign kicks into high gear, the president and first lady have made recent high-profile trips to California. Obama has California's 55 electoral votes locked up; no Republican is likely to steal those away from him. But it never hurts to have as much money as possible from California donors that Obama will be able to spend in other, less secure states. Obama hopes to raise $1 billion between now and November 2012.

The dough is rolling in. In April, Obama flew into Los Angeles at taxpayer expense to have three separate fundraising dinners in one night. The first, at Sony Studios, hosted 60 guests at $38,500 a plate. Then, later that same evening, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, tennis channel CEO Ken Soloman and Capital Group's John Emerson chaired two dinners at Tavern in Brentwood, also at $35,800 a head.

Although you can't call it cheap, lunching with Michelle in the Bay Area was quite a bit more affordable — a mere $2,500 for breakfast at Oakland's Claremont Hotel Club and Spa. The first lady spent two days in California, which included four fundraisers and one public event that promoted her anti-obesity program.

Meanwhile, the only certainty about the 2012 Republican presidential field is that it grows larger and less impressive every day. This must frustrate GOP leadership, because Obama is nothing if not vulnerable.

The official list of announced Republican candidates includes one former senator (Rick Santorum), four former governors (Gary Johnson, Tim Pawlenty, Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney), a former House Speaker (Newt Gingrich), two current House representatives (Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann) and businessman Herman Cain.

Obama's post-Osama bin Laden poll bump has vanished. According to a Washington Post ABC News poll, Americans by a 2-1 margin think the nation is on the wrong track. Although Obama has a ton of problems — like his unpopular Afghanistan war, the high cost of food and gasoline, depressed housing and a nervous stock market — his biggest negative is that under his administration millions of people have lost their jobs and can't find a new one.

If history is our guide, then Obama will be a single-term president. No president has been re-elected when the unemployment rate exceeds 7.2 percent. Currently, it stands at 9.1 percent and is poised to rise.

Among the lackluster Republican hopefuls, former Massachusetts governor Romney leads the pack, based mostly on his private sector business success. Romney's visibility isn't as high as Palin's, but among probable voters his credibility is greater.

Looking at the candidate list, I wonder who advises them and why they listen. Many recognize Gingrich's name, but, according to the poll, the least-appealing candidate trait is "being an elected official in Washington for a long time."

If Obama expects to prevail, sooner or later he'll have to enter middle-class America, where voters are less friendly to him than they are in Hollywood.

What Obama will find in crucial swing states is disappointed voters convinced that the president presented himself one way to gain their support during the 2008 campaign but then, once he won their votes, governed another way.

The key for an Obama 2012 victory will depend on his ability to convince hurting citizens that he truly cares about them and their fate. So far, Obama has shown only indifference.

Joe Guzzardi retired from the Lodi Unified School District in 2008. He currently lives in Pittsburgh, Penn. Contact him at guzzjoe@yahoo.com.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • Patrick W Maple posted at 5:48 pm on Mon, Jun 20, 2011.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    ms b: I never argue with an idiot. You'll drag me down to your level and beat me with experience. Besides, the last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on my list. You are proof that light travels faster than sound... you always appear bright... until you speak. Besides, if I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

    You just keep on protecting your little man BO from any harmful words...I'm sure he will soon recognize you as a loyal subject, raise you from your byzantine dregs and elevate you so an ambassadorship in...Siberia...one can only hope (his words not mine).

    Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
    Wise up.

    Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car. Stick around for the sermon next time.

    I am sure you know that If you don't pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 3:58 pm on Mon, Jun 20, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Love seeing Ms Bobin "wondering".... how cute.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 11:25 am on Mon, Jun 20, 2011.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Love to see "pontificating" right-wingers "pontificating" to each other. What fun!

    I wonder if Mr. Maple's email to Obama included his usual belligerent, lewd, and insulting comments. Bet Obama took him to heart with that level of communication.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 5:34 pm on Sun, Jun 19, 2011.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2111

    You are right Patrick, it would be the same people who already voted for him once who my speech would be aimed at. It would basically be a "don't give up on me yet" type speech in the hopes to get his base motivated to stay behind him rather than find another candidate (is there a viable, liberal third party?).

  • Brian Dockter posted at 12:18 pm on Sun, Jun 19, 2011.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2866

    Many of Obama's closest constituents have never ran or had any business experience. Now, with Romney at the helm he'll reverse this economic downturn.
    So, why we should give Obama another chance when not only Romney but many others
    can do it much faster? We're talking about America, not a communtiy project.

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 11:14 am on Sun, Jun 19, 2011.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    Kevin: And who exactly is he talking to about creating jobs?? The same morons that he just bailed out.

    Kind of like asking the taxidermist to make the bird fly.

    E-mail him and tell him to ask me how to get the economy moving again...I did.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 9:09 am on Sun, Jun 19, 2011.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2111

    I think you guys are wrong about Obama staying away from the economy in this next election cycle. I think what they will do will sound like this:

    "We were in a bad situation 3 and a half years ago. Neglect and special interest perks from my friends across the aisle led to unsustainable housing loan practices which fell on my shoulders to fix. And that repair job hasn't been easy. Many things have had to been tried and I'll admit that some worked better than others.

    "To borrow a term from the housing industry, we have been trying to 'flip' the economy. and just like when you buy a house needing sever repair to flip it, we have found more things wrong than we thought. But you don't abandon that flip just because things get hard. There is the very real possibility and hope for a big pay out when this economic flip is over. My team and I are working hard to repair what was left for us. We are making progress, things are getting better, the foundations have been laid for aggressive economic advances in the next few years. If we all work together then America will come out of this stronger and wiser than we were when we were led into this turbulent time."

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 6:36 am on Sun, Jun 19, 2011.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    If you say something bad about a green man who has purple polka-dot skin you are usually ridiculed and chastised to some extent. Say something bad about a black man and you are labled...a racist. This is why ANY candidate running against BO will eventually be labled as such (cirque: Jackson, Sharpton, Farakhan, Rangle and others)...and ultimately will not win...unless people are willing to call them on it...or they are willing to ban the use of that word in the debate. Or...allow the use of the word in reverse.

    Until the liberal fantasy land media stops creating stories of fiction about the current WH occupant, he is going to win...again, and the economy is going to move at the pace of Washington DC...nowhere!

  • Brian Dockter posted at 9:52 pm on Sat, Jun 18, 2011.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2866

    I believe the only way Obama can get re-elected is to base it on values and not the economy. Unless the unemployment miraculously goes down to 7.2 percent he would be wise not to mention the economy in any significant amount because his opponent will most likely use it against him. But it may not matter at all given Obama's
    ability to give great speeches whether they have substance or not. His ability to BS
    makes it that much more important we unseat him.

  • Brian Dockter posted at 9:36 pm on Sat, Jun 18, 2011.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2866


    I believe the liberal media is going to give just enough credit to Obama's opponent
    to make the race close as to attract a large audience right to the end. If they aren't careful it could be Obama's undoing. And, if Romney is his opponent, they will have to
    to be extra careful giving Romney ANY traction. It's going to be in an interesting and historic election.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 10:00 am on Sat, Jun 18, 2011.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    Mr. Paglia, I wonder if as you were pontificating you considered just doing away with the Electoral College altogether? There's always talk of that but usually just on Election Day itself as the votes come pouring in and the talking heads provide us with the four-year list of good and bad regarding the current process. But once a president is elected it's as if the top is put back on the ballot box and the issue sits in the dark until another four years elapses.

    We're a strange bunch, we Colonialists, aren't we?

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 9:41 am on Sat, Jun 18, 2011.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2111

    One of the things i would change about the election process is that if 51% of a state votes one way then ALL the electoral votes go that way. I believe there are a few states that split the votes according to the percent of public votes, I think all states should do this. No more of this I got Cal's 55 votes locked up mentality. If 70% of the votes go Dem then 70% of the electoral votes go dem, the rest go according to what party gets those votes. I would think that this would make sense to everyone except those who would lose electoral votes.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 9:22 am on Sat, Jun 18, 2011.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    With this president's record he shouldn't be just "vulnerable" his defeat should be a walk in the park. In fact, if nothing else Hillary Clinton should be able to unseat him at their convention giving her the opportunity to move back into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with her pathetic husband in tow.

    George H.W. Bush was ousted even after a decisive victory in Kuwait because of one Clintonion phrase: "It's the economy, stupid." With our nation in such dire straits today, why is President Obama so arrogant; why is it that no one in his own party is willing to step up to face him down? I remember every president since JFK and I've never experienced such negativity that emanates from the White House today – from just one man. Listening to him today makes my skin crawl – very unlike the tingle that Chris Matthews must have experienced up his leg nearly three years ago. And to think I actually switched parties in the 2008 primary to vote for Obama because I believed Hillary to be the greater of the evils in the Democrat race.

    And yet, unless something incredible occurs he just might pull it off in 2012. You know, I just don’t get it.

  • Brian Dockter posted at 9:21 am on Sat, Jun 18, 2011.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2866


    I hope, for our sake, history does dictate the outcome of the next election.


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