The other day President Obama made a campaign stop to speak at Oyster River High School in Durham, New Hampshire. To thunderous applause from the young people (and others) in attendance at the high school, he said that people should vote for him in November because Republicans will prevent women from making their own health care choices and prevent young people from staying on a parent’s health insurance program (even if they are 25 and married and financially independent). He further added that Republicans will make college education a “luxury.” (Of course, successful completion of a more challenging course of study at university requires a minimum IQ of 120, but why doesn’t our President issue an Executive Order to lower tuition and fees, and especially religious colleges and universities, but I digress.)
The White House issued a transcript of his remarks, complete with recognition of applause and “boo” lines. For a host of reasons, I usually don’t pay much attention to the President’s facile and glib remarks on the campaign trail, and I must confess that, on occasion, I have even turned off the radio when he is speaking. But here are a few of his remarks that I found interesting:
THE PRESIDENT: So Governor Romney, he fundamentally disagrees with my vision. That’s what elections are about. His allies in Congress disagree with my vision. Neither of them will endorse any policy that asks the wealthiest Americans to pay even a nickel more in taxes.
THE PRESIDENT: That’s the reason we haven’t reached an agreement on our deficit. It’s the reason my jobs bill that would put more than 1 million people back to work has been voted down by Republicans in the Congress again and again and again. It’s been the biggest source of gridlock in Washington for the last three years.
You can decide whether we keep our brave men and women in Afghanistan indefinitely, like Mr. Romney wants to do, or whether we stick to the timeline that I’ve set to finally bring our troops home. That’s up to you. (Applause.)
You can decide that instead of restricting access to birth control or defunding Planned Parenthood, we should make sure that in this country, women control their own health care choices. That’s up to you. (Applause.)
You can decide whether . . . over 3 million young people being able to stay on their parent’s health insurance plan is the right thing to do. (Applause.)
You can decide whether or not we go back to the days when you could be kicked out of the United States military just because of who you are and who you love. (Applause.) You can decide whether or not it’s time to stop denying citizenship to responsible young people just because they’re the children of undocumented workers — (applause) — who have been growing up with our kids and want to contribute to this country.
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This is going to be a close election. And from now until November, the other side will spend more money than at any time in American history. And almost all of it will be on ads that tell you the economy is bad — it’s all Obama’s fault. He can’t fix it because he thinks government is always the answer; because he doesn’t have the experience of making a lot of money in the private sector; or because he is in over his head; or because he thinks everything is just fine. (Laughter.)
That’s what the scary voices in the ads will tell you over and over and over again. That’s what Mitt Romney will say. That’s what the Republicans in Congress will say. And I give them credit — they have a lot of message discipline. They just repeat over and over and over again the same thing. (Laughter.) Doesn’t matter if it’s true, they’ll just keep on repeating. That’s what they do.
But you know what, that may be a plan to win the election; it’s sure not a plan to create jobs. It’s not a plan to grow the economy. It’s not a plan to pay down our debt. It’s not a plan to revive the middle class and restore the American Dream.
So, Durham, if you believe we need a plan for education and energy, for infrastructure and innovation; if you believe that our economy grows best when everybody has a fair shot and everybody is doing their fair share, and everybody is playing by the same set of rules — (applause) — then I’m going to need you to stand with me as I run for a second term as President. (Applause.) I’m going to need you. The country is going to need you. (Applause.)
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It’s fashionable right now for people to be cynical. We go in cycles like this, and right now a lot of people are saying, oh, America is doing terribly and this and that, and what are we going to do. Let me tell you something. There’s no problem out there, no challenge we face, that we do not have the capacity to solve. (Applause.) We are Americans, and we are tougher than whatever tough times may bring us. And what’s lacking right now is our politics. What’s lacking right now is that some of the worst impulses in our politics have been rewarded. And that’s something entirely within your power to solve.
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And you know what, New Hampshire, I’ve kept that promise, because I still believe in you. I believe in the American people. (Applause.) And I need you to keep believing in me. I need you to hit some doors and make some phone calls and register your friends. Talk to your neighbors. Get on Facebook. Get on Twitter. (Applause.) Let’s get to work. Let’s finish what we started. Let’s remind the world how a strong economy is built, and remind them why America is the greatest nation on Earth.
As you will have noted above, the President failed to mention that he signed a recent agreement with President Karzai leaving American troops in Afghanistan until at least 2024, or that large numbers of today’s college students are graduating from all kinds of schools and universities with huge amounts of student loan debt, and many graduates are having trouble finding a job that utilize their university-level skills. He also failed to mention that under his watch, the United States lost its AAA-bond rating.
He further failed to say that the policies of his administration has created a “capital strike” from investors and entrepreneurs who prudently refuse to invest and create jobs in a climate of great uncertainty. He failed to mention that each of his proposed budgets have been defeated unanimously in both the House of Representatives and in the Democratic-controlled Senate, and that he has failed to pass any budget in over three years. Of course, we could continue to deconstruct his remarks. But a simple observation is that President Obama prefers campaigning for reelection rather than to work and negotiate with legislators of both parties to do the difficult and tedious work of governing a great nation.
In thinking about President Obama’s life and career, many have observed that throughout his life, he has never truly faced any serious opposition or negative consequences from his actions. However, at this crucial stage of our nation’s history, the frivolities of his shallow, simplistic, and yes, dangerous administration must end soon. As one commentator observed regarding this New Hampshire speech: “As far as presidential speeches go, if Oyster River High School was any indication, Obama seems to be growing a little desperate: It seemed to be nothing more than a composite of factually dubious clichés and talking points.” Well said!