And now, back to the issues.
“Hello, is this thing on?”
A continued and unpopular (but successful) war, high gas prices, increasing unemployment levels, weakness in wages and an economy on the brink of recession, Obama should be doing better than what was characterized on CNN last night as a “dead heat”.
Election history tells us however that Obama should be in the lead.
…and President George Bush’s popularity at near historic lows, even many Republicans thought this year would be a virtual cakewalk for the Democratic nominee.
A fall in real incomes in the months leading up to the election almost always leads to a loss for the party in power, pointed out Nigel Gault, head of North American macroeconomics for Global Insight, in a recent conference call with investors. “The incumbents tend to take the blame,” he said. “This should be an uphill battle for McCain.”
But on the eve of what Obama and the Democrats hope will be their own Rocky Mountain high, that’s not proving to be the case.
Obama has not been able to capitalize on the economic woes to build an electoral lead. “It’s an absolute mystery that Obama has not been able to exploit this issue more aggressively,”
It’s no mystery. The American people are beginning to see that Obama is a wee bit light on experience and accomplishment in any area let alone the economy, and what he does actually spell out is clearly going to be bad news for the economy
“If he is going to win, Obama will have to win on the economy,” says Thomas Riehle, a Democratic strategist and pollster
His lofty rhetoric—and focus on criticizing McCain and the Bush legacy—have yet to demonstrate convincingly to many of these struggling folks just exactly what he would do to turn the economy around.
Even some Democrats may not stomach the huge expense and vast complexity of Obama’s proposals.
This year that gap between promise and reality may be even larger than usual. “Whoever wins will face a big wake-up call as soon as the election is over,” says Daniel Clifton, head of Washington policy research for investment group Strategas Research Partners. “Many campaign promises will need to be scuttled.”
The 2009 economy will offer tough conditions for a President set on bold new policies. The next Administration will face anemic growth, sluggish employment, a housing downturn expected to continue at least through much of next year, and continued tight credit markets as the shakeout works its way through the financial sector.
The American people, also knowing this, may already be answering the question “Under these circumstances, who do you want in the White House?”