Autumn 2008 turned out to be a blue autumn for Americans as
Democrat Barack Obama won his seat as President of the United States of America
at the expense of a rather red-faced Republican John McCain. That election produced the highest voter turnout in 40 years with then Junior United States Senator from Illinois
securing the highest number of votes for a presidential candidate in American
history. But how the mighty have fallen; in a recent article carried by the New York Times, writer Allison Kopicki underlined the grave becoming of what was, not too long ago, America’s most popular President.
In a recent poll by ABC News and the Washington Post Survey,
it was found that 53 percent of Americans now disapprove of President Obama’s
handling of his job as a president, as opposed to 43 percent who still gave him
their vote of confidence. This same piece asserts that the findings were seen to be in agreement with the poll results produced by NBC News which put forward that 51 percent of Americans now disapprove of Mr. Obama’s job as president, against a comparatively lower 44 percent who seem to approve. The apparent cause of the rut seems to stem from Mr. Obama’s inability to turn around the failing U.S economy.
Now while I am no political analyst or economic watcher, I must
admit I do find myself asking the question of could Mr. John McCain have done a
better job as president? I know the elections have long passed and suggesting if the rival campaigner could have done better than the incumbent is of irrelevance to the current state of things. Yet nonetheless hear me out for a second.
First and foremost, I postulate that I do not find Mr. Obama an incompetent president; in fact I think he is a very capable man placed in a restrictive position in a very trying time. However it is in my personal belief that he oversold himself at the 2008 elections. Consequently the voting American public, too eager for a savior, voted him in because not only was he a sound candidate for the job, but he was the most fashionable too.
This fashionable appeal should be the least considered aspect when deliberating
your political allegiances but sadly I find that most torn voters fell too easily for the appeal instead of digging deeper and reevaluating each candidate’s case.
Mr. Obama is a powerful communicator and his use of the new
media, showy poise and elegance at speeches and rallies made him a media darling. John McCain on the other hand had little appeal in comparison and the public endorsement of people such as Joe theplumber did little to boost his media attractiveness. While both candidates campaigned strongly for
change in the financial department and at stopping the war in Iraq, Mr. Obama
did better in assuring the masses he’ll do more in the “fashionable” fields
such as global warming, the war against terror and stem cell research, just to
name a few. The indicators for Mr. Obama’s popularity were evident with the then president to be lodged in a two horse race with Lady Gaga over who could be the first to secure 10 million “Likes” on Facebook.
There was, at one point in time, talks of media biasness towards the Democrats with a report suggesting that of the coverage offered to each running candidate, 29 percent of stories on Mr. Obama were deemed negative while a whopping 57 percent of stories carried on Mr. McCain were found to be negative. A startling imbalance that
would have made an already favorable candidate appear more favorable; because
truth be told, who wouldn’t want to be part of history when America elects
her first African American to office?
Fast forward 2011 and the fanfare of the 2008 elections have long blown over. The immense popularity of the President has soured ever since, as posted by BBC News on their opinion tracker of the U.S president in office, and this suggests two things; first, that in reality, it’s not easy to push policies, and it doesn’t help when you have
promised so many; secondly, Mr. Obama’s celebrity-esque status which won him
many votes at the elections is no floatation device to keep ratings up. In fact, the only two instance where notable improvement in the ratings were remarked was when Guantanamo Bay prison camp was sanctioned to close and the recent slaying of al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden.
Thus had there been more impartial and objective reasoning
and coverage behind the 2008 presidential elections, the outcome might have
been totally different; America might have been under the stewardship of a
Republican. However hypothetical scenarios aside, would Mr. John McCain have done a better job at saving the economy and arrest the US$14 trillion debt given that he has chaired the State Commerce Committee before?—the answer is we will never know, but the possibility will forever remain that he could have. But things are as they are now so everyone will have fingers crossed that the once celebrated presidential nominee
will have some fine answers to remedy the impending global crisis.
New York Times article in reference: http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/06/polls-show-declining-support-for-obama-on-economy/?scp=4&sq=obama’s%20ratings&st=cse
BBC News opinion tracker: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10254097
Election figures: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2008