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Joe Guzzardi Even with $1 billion war chest, President Obama could be in trouble against Republican rival

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Joe Guzzardi

Posted: Saturday, April 9, 2011 12:00 am

President Barack Obama's official announcement that he will seek re-election came as no surprise on Capitol Hill.

I (for one) don't understand it. Why doesn't Obama quit while he's sort of ahead? Obama's already experienced the exhilaration of being swept into the White House on a wave of national adulation, won the Nobel Prize, hosted state dinners and traveled in luxury on the taxpayer's dime with Michelle to plush far-away places. To Obama, that's old hat. What lies ahead for him is a brutal re-election campaign that he may not survive. And even if he wins, he'll be paralyzed in his second term by a Congress controlled by House and Senate Republicans. Obama will be a figurehead president.

So, repeating my earlier question: Why not retire, become what I'll loosely refer to as a statesman, give speeches around the globe for astronomical sums and write a book? If Sarah Palin made millions on her autobiographies, Obama could earn tens of millions.

Obama's joy ride from four long years ago has crashed and burned. No longer is Obama the relatively unknown first-term Illinois senator and the first African-American seeking to reclaim the presidency for the Democrats from the widely unpopular George W. Bush.

His successful 2008 strategy that included brass bands on stages decked with American flags won't cut it in 2012.

"Change you can believe in," Obama's hypnotizing campaign pledge, stands exposed today as the empty words they always were.

Among Obama's broken promises are the 3 to 5 million jobs that he didn't deliver on. And while his adorning audience in the mainstream media like to promote the infinitesimal decline in the unemployment rate from 8.9 to 8.8 percent as a "recovery," numerous studies found that the precious few jobs created during the last few months paid between $9 and $12, an unlivable wage.

The trend won't end any time soon. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that nearly 400,000 food preparation and service jobs will be created by 2018 (average pay: $16,430), while only 11,100 financial examiner jobs (average pay: $70,930) will be created.

Republicans should have a heyday attacking Obama's failed fiscal policies, which include his controversial health care package, rammed through Congress against the American people's will, the wasteful stimulus programs and the stalled budget negotiations.

What Obama hopes will bail him out will be his $1 billion war chest that he's off and running to accumulate. If you're a skeptic of money in politics, a $1 billion campaign should truly disgust you.

The Congressional newspaper The Hill wrote that that Obama's formal filing to run in 2012 gives him the legal opportunity to use the campaign infrastructure his staffers have already secretly built to start his aggressive fundraising effort.

Obama may be in for a rude surprise. Even his most fawning ultra-liberal Hollywood fans have soured on Obama. Matt Damon, informally representing his peer group, told CNN that he thinks Obama is a failure.

In the end, 2012 will not be about Obama. After four years, America knows what it has in the Oval Office. As the old saying goes, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

Obama has to keep his fingers crossed for this is not only about $1 billion. That huge sum won't be enough to save him against an effective Republican challenger. In their conversations with each other, Obama's advisers have to be praying for the Republican ticket to be headed by someone as inept as John McCain. If that happens, Obama's path would be all downhill.

Joe Guzzardi, a registered Independent, reminds readers that 2008 he warned against buying into the Obama hype. Contact him at

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