Monday, April 4, 2011
And the Cycle Begins Again...
I thought I'd have a break for a little while longer, but to no one's surprise, President Obama formally launched his re-election campaign today.
The official start of his bid for a second term comes 20 months before Election Day 2012, in the midst of three wars, a budget battle with Congress, economic crises and slumping opinion polls, as well as the continuous drumbeat of the "birther" movement (led in recent days by a nearly-ubiquitous Donald Trump), calling for the President to again release his birth certificate.
"We've always known that lasting change wouldn't come quickly or easily. It never does," the president said in an email to more than 13 million supporters announcing his candidacy. "But as my administration and folks across the country fight to protect the progress we've made — and make more — we also need to begin mobilizing for 2012, long before the time comes for me to begin campaigning in earnest."
Of course, President Obama's move will probably jostle some of the Republicans who have been thinking aboutloudly or less publiclytheir own run for the White House, so I'd expect we'll see several individuals declare their candidacy, or at least declare their formation of an exploratory committee to investigate the feasibility of a candidacy. (Ain't politics grand?) Some of the myriad candidates expected are former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, Ron Paul, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, former Senator Rick Santorum, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and, possibly, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
One of the issues I have with all political campaigns is the ridiculous rhetoric, as well as the calculated actions taken by those candidates still holding political office as they run. Basically, I feel that most members of Congress care more about positioning themselves for re-election and/or a larger political future than their constituents, which is why they often take stands on, or refuse to stand up for, specific issues. And if all Congress is doing is trying to figure out how to blame the opposing party for gridlock or what they deem the wrong decisions, when does the actual governing happen?
The truth is, I wish I was more enthusiastic about a particular candidate. I was a strong supporter of the president's in 2008, and while I imagine I'll vote for him over the Republican candidate, as I've not been impressed by any of them at this point, I don't feel the same sort of passion and electricity I did before. While I think some of the criticisms being leveled at President Obama are motivated more by race and ignorance than actual political ideology, I do feel a bit disillusioned about what he promised versus what he's been able to deliver.
But we'll see, right? After all, we have 20 months until Election Day!! Hooray! (Sarcasm intended...)