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Monday, September 27, 2010

Barack Obama Pretty Speeches Cannot Recapture Democratic Enthusiasm

NYT's The Caucus reports that Barack Obama, in an attempt to "recapture Democratic enthusiasm" from 2008, will try to go back in time to when he drew large crowds, made pretty speeches, promised his cult of followers a rose garden.

The difference between then and now is those followers actually believed Obama's campaign promises.

Hard core far left progressive Democrats believed Barack Obama would have ended all wars, Iraq and Afghanistan by now, they believed he would no longer fight court battles proclaiming "state secrets" as George Bush did, they believed he would fight and win the "public option" argument for Obamacare, they believed Gitmo would be closed by now and they believed Illegal aliens would get amnesty.

The point is they believed Obama's rhetoric in 2008.

Jump to 2010 and you have supporters expressing buyer's remorse, Velma Hart telling Obama to his face she is exhausted of defending him and his administration, Greg Smith expressing how "hopeless" he feels after all his efforts to campaign for Obama in 2008, Glenn Greenwald angry (normal state for him it seems), Susan Madrak of Crooks and Liars telling White House officials she feels like the "the girl you'll take under the bleachers but you won't be seen with in the light of day," Jane Hamsher at FireDogLake feeling belittled by Obama, hard core far left Democrats disappointed, disillusioned, feeling betrayed by Barack Obama.

Being hard core supporters, Democrats first and foremost, they may piss, moan, complain, yell, scream, whine and vent, but when all is said and done, if they show up at the voting booths in November for midterms, will cast their votes for Democrats anyway.

Independents are a whole different ballgame.

According to Pew Research, Independents are the largest voting bloc with 37% of registered voters being independents or other non-partisans, 34% being Democrats and 29% being Republicans.

Independents tipped the scales for Obama in 2008, believing his claims of working in a totally bipartisan atmosphere, believed, despite Obama's voting record and history, that he would rule from the middle, believed he would "change" the way Washington worked, believed Obama would help create jobs, make a dent in fixing the economy and would represent American views in the White House.

What they got was a President that signed into law a healthcare plan that the majority of Independents, the majority of Americans, completely opposed and objected to. A President that has allowed Government spending to drive our national deficit higher than any other president has. A President that has handed over billions upon bilions to bailouts of the Auto industry, banks, unions, etc.. A President that has driven unemployment up to 9.6 percent. A President that has broken trust with them.

According to Pew Research, Independents now "favor Republican candidates by about as large a margin as they backed Barack Obama in 2008 and congressional Democratic candidates four years ago. "

Uncharacteristically, independent voters, who typically are not highly engaged by midterm elections, are now more likely than Democrats to say they are giving a lot of thought to this one. And they are about as likely as Democrats to say they definitely will vote; during the fall of 2006, far more Democrats than independents said they definitely would vote.

The relatively high level of independent engagement this year has come among those who plan to vote Republican. Fully 64% of independents who plan to vote for the Republican in their district are giving a lot of thought to the election, compared with just 40% of independents who plan to vote for a Democrat.

Independents are disillusioned even more than Democrats.

Going into the 2010 elections

Barack Obama's approval ratings continue to hit new lows as headlines keep screaming, Congressional Democratic leaders (Pelosi and Reid) hold the highest unpopularity ratings, Obamacare aka Healthcare remains opposed by the majority of Americans despite promises that once it was passed it would become popular, unemployment is up to 9.6 percent, Obama's budget plan projects a record-breaking $1.6 trillion in the current fiscal year, and every day the news gets worse and worse.

The latest polling on enthusiasm, by a McClatchy/Marist poll, shows "Republican voters are more excited about their vote than are Democratic voters. 46% of Republican voters compared with 30% of Democrats are very enthusiastic about voting in the upcoming midterm elections. 23% of independent voters also express a high level of enthusiasm."

Barack Obama might draw a crowd on Tuesday when he holds an old-fashioned campaign rally on the campus of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, if not they can just bus people in again for the photo ops trying to show some excitement, but getting voters favoring Democrats to the booths in November, voters that are not hard core far left progressive Democrats, will not happen because Barack Obama decided to give another pretty speech or because he makes more promises.

No longer are moderates and Independents going to believe the rhetoric when their eyes, their wallet, their newspapers tell them a different story.

A new POLITICO / George Washington University Battleground Poll shows that a "significant majority" of voters are already considering voting against Obama in 2012, so does he, or Democrats think Obama can bring out voters for midterms when his own reelection prospects for 2012 are already being measured and found wanting?

The excitement of 2008 is gone, the Obama mystery has been revealed and so far, not many people on either side of the aisle or down the middle is impressed with the storyline.

That is why Barack Obama and the Democrats, will not be able to "recapture" the enthusiasm of 2008.

Republicans are excited about taking control of the House and perhaps the Senate. Independents are enthused about restoring some semblance of balance to Washington.

Question to ponder: What exactly is there for Democrats to be enthusiastic about?