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Posted by on Dec 10, 2011 in At TMV | 6 comments

Obama, The Campaign Season Populist?

If you’re old enough to remember the Shirelles, a great pop singing group that started recording in the late 1950s, you’ll also probably remember one of their biggest hits — “Will you still love me tomorrow.” Whenever I hear President Obama speak these days, I’m reminded of the lyrical sentiment of that song.

In a recent speech, Mr. Obama said that economic inequality is “the defining issue of our time.” That’s something that has been noted for a very long time by virtually all left-leaning thinkers. But anyone who has followed this president’s own policy-making since coming to office would be hard-pressed to find anything he’s done to rectify that inequality.

The Shirelles sang that “Tonight, the light of love is your eyes/But will you love me tomorrow.” And I’m wondering that in this election season, with the words of populism flowing from Mr. Obama’s mouth, will he still translate these words into actual policy if he gets reelected.

Or if he does get reelected, will he just keep all the Wall Street and big business advisers who fed him the ideas that shaped his first term’s economic policies, or just substitute their clones? And then somehow decide that maybe inequality is too big an issue, defining as it is, to take on in a meaningful way?

Will progressives still love him tomorrow — the tomorrow after election day? Will he hone to this campaign season’s progressive tone better than he did with last election season’s promises?

I would like to believe so. But…

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  • ShannonLeee

    We’ll see who Obama really is during his second term. I would be shocked to see him not move more to the left after he is re-elected.

  • RP

    As long as Obama can keep dividing the country between the rich and the poor to gain support much the same as Hugo Chavez did to gain support in Venezuela, he will get reelected.

    As long as he can attack the rich, but keep his Wall Street supporters happy by avoiding any fraud charges coming their way, he will get reelected.

    And as long as the Republicans keep having brain &^*%s and keep running candidates that can’t win when sure wins are in the book, he will get reelected.

    Right now the reelection trifecta is an odds on bet.

  • dduck

    With this song, I get a mental picture of a guy crawling out the window the morning after the election, shoes and pants in hand.

  • The_Ohioan

    Second term Presidents are always torn between what they want their legacy to be and what those they are beholden to for campaign donations want.

    First time around Sen. Obama was showered with cash from the “little people”; and of course some “big people” as every candidate must be to win.

    This time he may have to rely only on the biggies; I’m certainly not contributing – though I might if the Reps had come up with a stable adult.

  • JSpencer

    Well, I did what I could last time around, but I’m not contributing a dime. My vote will have to suffice. It’s time for Obama to take a step away from the relative safety of his moderate record, and demonstrate the courage of some of his historic predecessors – including a couple republicans (who of course would be pilloried by the r’s of today).

    By the way RP, the nonsense you’re trying to float in your first sentence sunk before your final keystroke. Obama didn’t create the chasm between the rich and poor and it would be irresponsible for him to ignore it. As for the comparison with Chavez? The kind word for it is “absurd”.

  • Rcoutme

    No second term president has done well in his second term (not even FDR). I hate to think how Obama could do worse, so I’ll probably close my eyes and vote for him as the less-damaging of all the choices. I really wish that the Democrats had run a primary battle, the Republicans certainly have not offered anyone I want (except maybe Romney or Romney–but I’m not sure which of those two candidates I would want [I live in Massachusetts so I’m allowed to gripe about him])

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