In 2008 President Barack Obama campaigned on being better than the average politician, changing the culture of Washington D.C. and fixing the economy before the end of his first term.
What have we gained during the four years of Obama’s presidency? Has our economy rebounded? Has the political culture changed at all from what it looked like four years ago?
Actually, something has changed: Our president has transitioned from demanding better from our politicians to defending the status quo. All of the “hope and change” has left both the man and the campaign, and it has been replaced by “forward” and the same old politics.
Obama, as customary, spoke at the Democratic National Convention, where many people felt he was overshadowed by other speakers such as Bill Clinton. The reason he was overshadowed was because he underperformed, and he underperformed because he has, as of late, been unable to deliver on anything he promised four years ago.
Obama even admitted in 2009, “If I don’t have it done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition,” according to ABC News.
How successful has the President been in imposing any type of improvement or “change” on our nation?
According to CNN, the unemployment rate fell from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent because over 350,000 people gave up on finding another job.
CNN also pointed out that although 120,000 jobs were created in August, the U.S. needs to create 150,000 jobs per month simply to keep pace with population growth.
In fact, The Pew Research Center shows the unemployment rate was 7.6 percent when Obama took office and has not dropped below that percentage since. And these unemployment rates don’t count the people who give up on finding a job.
During his convention speech, Obama made it sound like we were doing fine. In fact, he did such a great job in the last three-and-a-half years he made the same promises he made four years ago.
According to the transcript of the president’s speech provided by NPR, Obama promised to continue investing in alternative energies even after a number of bad investments, like the bankruptcy of solar panel maker Solyndra, where the Obama Administration invested hundreds of millions of dollars.
He even talked about having lowered the cost of college and how he would “cut in half the growth of tuition costs over the next ten years.” I don’t see where Obama saved college students any money this year. I mean, Eastern Michigan University kept their costs lower and have raised their tuition very little over the last three years, according to a June 2011 press release by the university, but I don’t see where Obama fits into the picture.
To sum it up, the “hope and change” of four years ago is dead, both literally and figuratively. The political culture in Washington D.C. is the worst it has been in years, the economy has barely improved enough to impact the average person and the president keeps trotting out the same old promises to feed the electorate.
Even Obama’s campaign replaced “Hope and Change” with “Forward” this time around.
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