What’s Important

Normally, we think that when we elect a president, his coat tails will carry into office a few more members of his party than if he had lost.  Sometimes his coat tails are long and he helps sweep his party into control of one, sometimes both, houses of Congress.

But, re-electing a sitting president isn’t always a slam-dunk.  The last two, two term presidents had different paths.  Clinton had a fairly easy time, W just squeaked by.

Which takes us back to the last one-term president, George H. W. Bush.  During an economic recover, the public perception lags the numbers by about six months.  On election day in Nov 1992, the recovery had started, but because the Senate Majority Leader, Senator George Mitchell (D – ME) had bottled up legislation for several months before he would let it come up for a vote.  Public perception of a recovery was non-existent.

Presently, the country, the Democrats and President Obama have three important issues to deal with that could determine the outcome of the elections this November.

They are, in order of importance;

  1. Price of gasoline, diesel fuel and home heating oil (shortened to ‘gas’).
  2. Unemployment rate.
  3. War in Afghanistan.

The price of gas affects everybody.  Unless you are into the “1%”,  the effect of rising fuel prices affects everything you buy.  Everything sold at your local grocery or IGA, shoes, clothing, anything at a ‘big box’ store, all the goods come in via truck and every truck uses diesel fuel.  Taking a business trip?  You can bet your sweet hat and pea coat sleeve that the airplane uses a kerosene that is derived from oil.

So, whether you drive to work, eat-out or or grow all your food in a back-yard garden, the price of gas has a serious effect on your spending habits.

Which leads to point 2, the unemployment rate.  If you are spending too much on gas, you don’t have nearly as much “discretionary” dollars to spend on items that might stimulate the economy and create more jobs.  These are items that you were planning to do, but the price of gas took away all of the money you were planning to spend on it.  All of the things that you cannot spend money on are potentially, part of a new job that could have been created.

Maybe it was 1. buy a new car, 2. put siding on your house, 3. go on vacation,  4. get braces for your daughter or 5. any one of a zillion things that people do when they feel a little flush.

An unemployment rate below 7 per sent by the 4th of July would go along way toward re-electing President Obama.

Afghanistan.  Speaks for itself.  If points # 1 and # 2 are accomplished, the war in Afghanistan will be an irritant, a thorn in the side, but it will not preclude a second term.  But, getting most of the troops out before Labor Day will be the icing on the cake towards a successful election campaign.

Explore posts in the same categories: Afghanistan, Economy, Politics

5 Comments on “What’s Important”

  1. The president has very little power to affect 1 and 2.

    #3. He has total control. He should start the drawdown in Afghanistan now.


  2. Chief Says:

    Au contraire,

    There are lots of things the President can do (or cause to be done by his Administration) re: #1 & # 2.

    He has the Bully Pulpit. He can talk. He can embarrass. He can prompt/encourage other Dems to speak out and/or propose legislation.

    He can call business leaders into the WH to talk.

    Lots he can do as he attempts to show the voting public that he is on their side.

  3. What you suggest is all jawboning for the cameras and you know it.

    Is it a big surprise you hear the GOP news banging on the president about gas prices?

    Obama wants to remove subsidies from the oil industry and I support that. I don’t think the oil execs are very happy with that. Do you really think there is leverage here? This is a power struggle and it’s up to you to decide who’s side you are on. If you want to believe the fox news line that the pres can change the gas prices, check your history on richard nixon’s price fixing in the early 70s.

  4. Chief Says:

    And just where did the “fox news line” come from?

    Never, never, never, I really mean never has any fox channel appeared on any TV in my house.

    Of course the Rs are banging him about the price of gas. What else do they have?

    Of course, I want the Prez out front complaining about the speculators and how they are “un-American” and they are hurting the economy.

    But I also want other administration officials looking into the many other aspects of these multi-national corporations, finding some vulnerabilities.

  5. Ok, I see your point finally. I mistook that you were playing the same blame game that the faux news has been playing this week.

    You may have gotten your wish if you read or listen to Obama’s comments from yesterday re: gas pricing.

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