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Posted by on Feb 9, 2012 in Guest Contributor, Politics | 29 comments

The Political Transformation of President Obama Sends Dual Messages to Voters

President Barack Obama sending dual messages to voters and has moved from the “hope and change” candidate we saw in the 2008 election, to the “doing what it takes to win” president fighting for reelection.

President Barack Obama addresses the House Dem...

President Barack Obama Sending Dual Messages to Voters in Quest for Reelection (Wikipedia)

The political transformation of President Barack Obama is glaring. He has moved from the “hope and change” candidate we saw in the 2008 election, to the “doing what it takes to win” president fighting for reelection. Every politician makes promises, empty promises, they know they can’t keep, and that’s not the bad part. The bad part is you don’t know who to listen to and believe has your best interests at heart — Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum or Ron Paul.

Politico: “The first is that every modern president in the fourth year of his presidency resorts to the cheap political stunts, broken promises and truth-fudging it takes to win reelection in what has been and will be a 50-50 nation. The reason is simple: Politics is not clean-living; it’s survival.

The second is that Barack Obama, for all his talk of moving beyond conventional political tricks, is doing just that, which wouldn’t be so glaring had it not been for his incessant call for a newer, cleaner and more transparent paradigm for American politics.

The second is that Barack Obama, for all his talk of moving beyond conventional political tricks, is doing just that, which wouldn’t be so glaring had it not been for his incessant call for a newer, cleaner and more transparent paradigm for American politics.”

You can’t say you are for the people on Main Street when you are secretly yukking it up with the people on Wall Street. I don’t know if President Obama’s actions are transactional more than transformative, but I am just tired of politics as usual in Washington D. C. on both sides of the aisle. I am a centrist and I tend to look at some liberal policies and viewpoints with disdain, but I am for the people on Main Street, who are the ones to jumpstart this ecomony by spending. If you can’t look out for Main Street and truly mean what you say, then you aren’t the candidate for me.

President Obama is playing both sides of the field and you just can’t do that and expect to win big. He has flip-flopped as much as his probable Republican adversary Mitt Romney. I was very surprised when he gave his blessings to Super PACs after vehemently decrying their very existence. He literally gave his blessings to Priorities USA Action Super PAC, to go out and collect lots of money from the affluent.

In 2007, then-candidate Barack Obama said,  “you can’t say yesterday you don’t believe in them and today, you are having three-quarters of a million dollars being spent for you. You can’t just talk the talk. The easiest thing in the world is to talk about change during election time. Everybody talks about change during election time. You have got to look at how they will act when it’s not convenient, when it’s hard. And the one thing I’m proud of is my track record is strong on this and I’ve walked the walk.”

So, I guess that record is of little importance to President Barack Obama in 2012, right? The super PACs are a novel way for the fabulously rich and well-connected to influence politics. Um, that doesn’t jibe with his “love and caring attitude” for the people on Main Street. In other words, since everyone is doing it, let’s not get left out of the game, let’s join in this party!

As for the current conundrum with the Catholics and contraceptives, President Obama is just playing politics, that has the potential for serious backlash. Personally, I think the government and the church should not stick its nose in personal matters, such as a woman’s right to chose what she does with her body. This isn’t a fight about religious liberty. It should be a fight about a woman’s right to chose — personal liberty. That’s my opinion and mine only, but I do respect and understand the position others may hold on this very sensitive subject.

Sorry, but this political transformation of President Barack Obama isn’t the hope and change we signed on for in 2008, but at the same time, who among the Republican slate of presidential candidates is worthy to take the baton? They are all damaged goods. So, here we are, with an enormous problem…..

This article was cross-posted from The Hinterland Gazette.

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Copyright 2012 The Moderate Voice
  • merkin

    You are basically arguing with yourself over whether to support Obama because he disappointed your high expectations of him or Romney, et al, who fulfill your low expectations of them. The problem, if you can forgive me for saying it, might have more to do with your decision making skills than with the current state of politics.

    Oh, don’t forget that between the quote from Obama about campaign finance and the reluctant decision to encourage a SuperPac, one that was going to be formed no matter what Obama said, there was the surprising Citizens United 5 to 4 decision by the Supreme Court.

    You might want to read this article in the Atlantic, Obama Explained. It touches on a lot of the problems you are having. It seems to be a fairly evenhanded article, a rarity these days.

  • Jim Satterfield

    If you think that Obama is as bad as the Republicans ask yourself if Roberts, Alito, Thomas and Scalia are really the kind of justices we want for the Supreme Court. Ask yourself if John McCain would have done a single thing that really would affect the existing health care system. The list goes on and on. I look at Obama and I see someone who actually isn’t as pragmatic as I would like. He kept trying and trying to work with the Republicans in Congress well after it was obvious that they were completely unwilling to work with him. That was only one thing he had to deal with in terms of the conditions he has to work under changing, including what Merkin pointed out about the Citizens United case. Have you actually looked at the money disadvantage that he would be under when you compare everything, including the SuperPACs on both sides?

  • dduck

    Great article, JS, the Elmer Gantry without the fun part is exposed.

    The die-hard Dems will say he is only fighting fire with fire so let them keep deluding themselves, we did it with Bush, so can they.
    Wow, I just heard a enormous holler of “unfair”, this is different”.
    Yeh, we found the one honest politician and he just happens to be a Dem.

  • RP

    Jim, need to be careful when talking about the conservative justices on the supreme court. Much can be said the same about Gingsberg and her comments in a foreign country about not using any part of our constitution as an example of things being included in a new countries constitution. Many centrist and conservatives wonder if she is senile or has held these views for years and if she has, how did she ever get confirmed when she does not believe in the document she has sworn to uphold.

    Now for Obama. One major flaw for Romney is his flip flops. But can one not say the same about Obama, expecially if they go back on the Catholic issue. Maybe best to tick off alot of Catholics and lose their votes and let SCOTUS rule on the legality of this provision than to lose votes of many more due to flip flops himself. People not voting is bad since it is one less vote for him, even if they do not vote for Romney.

    But isn’t this what always happen in a country that is 60% centrist when the parties they are trying to be nominated in are left or right. They have to run on the fringes for the nomination, then flip to the center for the general election.

  • slamfu

    Obama has been very middle of the road his first term and tried to govern with conciliatory measures. What did the GOP do with that? Took every inch of ground without giving up anything in return, in the process keeping practically anything from getting done. For Obama not to change tactics at this point would be negligence. I think its absurd that anyone would expect someone not to change course when new information reveals the old course to be heading towards rocks. That is one of my main problems with the GOP leadership, they get it in their heads to take a course of action, and even when the facts show that course of action to lead to disaster, they refuse to alter their plans in light of new information. As far as I’m concerned Obama was long overdue for putting the thumbscrews to the GOP for the crap they’ve pulled.

    On SuperPacs, both sides are going to be playing by the rules as stated. You can want to change them but you still play by them without being a hypocrite, especially when its political suicide to not do so. Obama is still the only one running that even seems to want to put some kind of limits on this spending, so even if he is currently operating without them like everyone else, that puts him in the lead as far as I’m concerned.

    These are relatively minor concerns I have with Obama, compared to the incredibly huge, economy destroying ones I have with the GOP candidates. Obama has not been able to fulfill his bigger pie in the sky promises like “fixing Washington”, but c’mon, at least he has managed to keep us out of an major catastrophes, you think any of the GOP guys would pull that off? If any of them get elected I predict the following:

    1) Another major economic blow out
    2) An avoidable war, probably with Iran
    3) An economic policy that shamelessly caters to the wealthy and further widens the income gap, screwing the revival of the middle class and prolonging the downturn another 4 years

  • We need a commitment by politicians to cut the power of the SuperPACs. Since a constitutional amendment is unlikely, we need to institute transparency on all donations. Both presidential candidates,along with those running for the Senate and the House need to commit to getting this done. If not, they should be held up for public rebuke.

  • Rcoutme

    The current Vice President has a really good suggestion for people like the author:

    Don’t compare me to the Almighty, compare me to the alternative.

  • dduck

    RAL, a constitutional amendment is the only way to partially limit the pay to play situation which we now have, and have had, for far too long.

    Absent that, we are on the road to hell, and, crony capitalism paves the road.

    I don’t believe the self-delusional lie that my side is not that way, it is pure denial.

  • TheMagicalSkyFather

    Judging him off the last few POTUS’s Obama has actually done rather well on promises kept which is rather amazing considering the vast amount of them made…due to a really bad state of the nation at the time. Good record or not his failures were the type that brought the libertarian/liberal axis together and the media glare, he will always be mocked for it like GITMO. Regardless of the facts on the ground and regardless of what anyone else said or did he will be solely blamed for such failures because those that may have defended him are still angry about it.

    As for campaign finance issues I think most indy’s and lefties, and even some in the GOP will consider it a matter of practicality. The rest of the GOP will mock him for his hypocrisy and for being a flip flopping lying liar(trying to overcompensate for something that their front runners have a far longer and more colorful history of). Many liberals and some indies will be angry that he didnt go the right way but it will be tempered by the threat of the alternative, leaving a megaphone only in the GOP’s hands.

  • zephyr

    Good to see you again TMSF. Also good comments in general. I’ll keep my response to Janet’s post short. Progressives who aren’t happy with Obama’s performance take a lot of flak, apparently for believing that actions are at least as important as lip service. Obama has done some good things and is easily the lesser of evils when compared to the field, but he has also neglected, caved, and kowtowed in ways that would not have been well taken by mainstream democrats of the past. So sure, vote for your lesser of evil, but don’t pretend that those who believe the bar should be higher are being extreme. The bar is still way too low for mainstreet Americans.

  • TheMagicalSkyFather

    zephyr-Dont get me wrong I would have much rather had a left wing fire breather but they were not available in 2008 and would have merely spooked the electorate. We turn slow in this country and it takes a Nixon to build to a Reagan if you will. Obama is the best POTUS in my lifetime easily, but of course I was born in Nixon’s second term so…

  • dduck

    Hi, MSF. Why not Clinton? What did he do wrong outside of you know what. He got some stuff done with Newt.
    I would rank him above Obama and he even “warned” Bush about OBL.

  • TheMagicalSkyFather

    Clinton spoke to and catered to the Boomers like every POTUS after JFK. Obama appeals to my demographic age group. I do not think that is all but I believe it has a part in my views I admit. Clinton failed on healthcare because he couldnt get everything he wanted and then made a compromise on everything that followed while riding a bubble that had nothing to do with him or any pol in the nation, it was the techies I tell ya. Clinton gave us the Walmart economy that we are now suffering through the crises of, in other words his policies went off like hand grenades safely after he was gone like a classic GOP POTUS. He picked winners and losers and of course chose those close to him and his wife was on their board. In recent decades the GOP has trended towards dropping the grenade prior to being able to throw it after they are out of office.

    Clinton, in my view, was easily the best GOP POTUS since Eisenhower but in my view we have run so far right for so long that we have hit a wall like we did with Carter when we had gone to far left. Carter was to the right of Nixon on many economic policies but he didnt move fast enough and we needed to shift. In short I liked Clinton a great deal but I do not think his policies nor style of governance can help us moving forward for a few decades until the next shift. I also tend to think Eisenhower/Clinton and Obama/Nixon share similar places in the political cycle though they are polar opposites on a personal level.

  • bluebelle

    I always go back to the Bush administration when judging Republicans. I realize that there is a current ban on conservatives mentioning his name — only Reagan the Great may be the party’s icon– but I think Bush should serve as a warning of how 8 years of Republican policies can decimate a nation’s prosperity.

    Now he promised to have a modest foreign policy — did not believe in nation- building.
    He criticized Clinton for being too inverventionist. He was able to pass his tax cuts and No Child Left Behind– but its questionable whether either program did more harm than good.

  • zephyr

    “I realize that there is a current ban on conservatives mentioning his name”

    Ain’t it the truth. The subject of GWB has to create the loudest silence ever on the part of republicans. Amnesia is the most effective form of denial.

  • DaGoat

    It is a common response whenever Obama is criticized to start talking about GWB, as if holding Obama to that very low standard somehow negates the criticism. Obama deserves the criticism about his Super-PAC flip-flop. He portrayed the Super-PAC’s an Citizens United decision as promoting evil and corruption, then turned around and embraced them. If Obama is going to put himself out there as more than just another politician, which he certainly has, then he needs to follow through.

  • SteveK

    He portrayed the Super-PAC’s an Citizens United decision as promoting evil and corruption, then turned around and embraced them.

    That’s just silly.

    President Obama still thinks (as do most thinking people) that Super PACs are a bad idea but with the advantage in exposure and power they give candidates he was forced by the wing-nut lead supreme court to use, if not embrace, them… The SCOTUS changed the rules and everyone wanting to be competitive has to play by them.

  • TheMagicalSkyFather

    DaGoat -And losing an election and taking the Dem party down with him would be an effective and principled enough stand to make us change course on Super-Pacs??? Or merely a boon for the GOP many of which cry about Super-Pacs as well but since they already had their own have not taken any silly principled stand on the issue.

    POTUS’s and candidates make promises they do not keep. “No new taxes” from HW, healthcare reform from Clinton, shrinking gov while actually expanding it from Reagan…so no we do not need to only go to GWB though he is an easy mark like Carter remains for right leaners thirty years later.

  • DaGoat

    OK guys you’re right, sorry for expecting Obama to be consistent and keep his promises. MSF, HW lost an election because he didn’t keep his promise and Clinton at least tried to keep his promise to reform health care.

  • dduck

    DG, I never thought he was principled so I don’t see any thing but pragmatic political behavior; he is a bull**** artist.
    Of course they whip out Bush’s name, just like we Reps whip out Clinton’s (oops, sorry) when it comes to Rep peccadilloes.

    Magic, I guess the $1 billion he has would not be enough to win this election.

  • DaGoat

    dduck I think Obama will have plenty of money with or without the Super-PAC’s. Where the Super-PAC’s will help him is with negative campaign ads. You know the GOP Super-PAC’s will throw out some nasty stuff – with Democratic Super-PAC’s he’ll be able to respond in kind while technically keeping his distance.

  • TheMagicalSkyFather

    DaGoat-I am really rather doubtful he tried very hard since it went absolutely nowhere and he made every error possible to get there. He also gave us the brilliance that was dont ask dont tell, his compromises were epic in their ability to be worse than the previous situation. Still I am very fond of him but I do not think giving the GOP everything it wants will help us now, Obama has already tried that method for a few years now and they just keep running further right to stay out of reach. Seems like they learned a lesson in the Clinton years.

    I am not saying Obama didnt go back on what he said, I am saying why is that in anyway news or surprising, well other than his oddly high percentage of kept promises. HW didnt lose because he lied, he lost because he raised taxes and he is on the tax cut side of the debate…well that and he wasnt Reagan who the GOP ignores did the same.

    Candidates lie and break promises and are hypocrites but when they do it for pragmatic reasons most voters give them a pass and focus on other problems. Voters likely to vote for you consider it pragmatic for you to position yourself to win and if that means giving a big hug to Super-Pacs it will be embraced. Regardless of how much money he is sitting on and how irrational it is(something that I consider rather debatable personally) but the left has grown an out-sized fear of the Koch boys and their reaction may actually harm the GOPs prospects built while the left slumbered.

  • dduck

    Sending out your cabinet to speak at fund raisers (but not to collect checks) is not playing equal to those that don’t have a cabinet.
    Conflict of interest with donors giving money at an event where the head of the department you are dealing with is speaker also raises my eye brows.
    Come on, this is pragmatism with turbo boost.

  • TheMagicalSkyFather

    And all oddly common stuff, especially for an incumbent. It is also in no way fair that he has run so far to the right that the GOP can only sound like extremists either but politics isnt about fairness its about winning. Yet another thing he has in common with Nixon, moving so far to the oppositions side that it forced them to run to an even further extreme.

  • Dabb

    I had no idea a moderate forum could be so anti-Obama.

    Sure he’s made some mistakes. Sure he’s done some flipping. They haven’t been too awful. At least we haven’t invaded a country based on a *%$*#@ lie.

    In fact Republicans are probably going to nominate the biggest flip-flopper there ever was. And if not, the nominee will be someone who hates women and wants to push his faith and ideology down everyone’s throats. Or maybe it’ll be a former official from the Clinton era that is nothing but a con artist. Is this all the Republican Party can offer us?

  • dduck

    Dabb, if this site is anti-Obama then you are the Queen of Sheba.

    Please feel free to find a more pro-Obama site.

  • Dabb

    Am I being dismissed?

  • dduck

    No, just clued in.

  • Dabb

    I don’t need to be clued in about anything.

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