It’s quite hilarious that candidates mention what media companies have endorsed them. Supposedly unbiased news reporting is supposedly unrelated to the opinion pieces published but if the average reader or viewer can’t tell the difference, then there is no one. The funniest thing is most endorsements rip apart the candidate of choice and then sum up the other person as simply “worse than the guy we’re picking”.
Furthermore, last week I explained my biggest problems and cheers for each candidate (Romney, Obama) and then explained why your vote doesn’t matter anyway. So don’t consider this endorsement as an indication of who I would vote for, but simply the person that is likely the safer bet for the next four years.
So with laggard hesitation, I’m saying Obama is a better choice. In 2008, I also endorsed Obama. But if you’ve read my endorsement in 2008 you’ll notice two major things. First, you’ll notice the terms “jobs” and “economy” are nowhere to be found. That’s because I didn’t and still don’t believe the President can or should do much about it. Second, Obama made a singular commitment in 2008 that McCain did not; and this commitment trumps all other promises a candidate can make. He wanted to get our soldiers out of Iraq and Afghanistan. I am tired of Americans getting killed and hurt in the name of very bad ideas. We wasted money, and lives. Above all other policy, I will always vote for a candidate that will pull troops out of an area I don’t think we should be in.
The distinction between 2008 and 2012 Obama is this time I felt like I had a legitimate choice. Romney presented a real alternative. Governor Romney was the only GOP candidate that didn’t seem to act like an insane caricature of themselves on stage. Governor Romney has a great track record of working with both parties to pass legislation, and people like me do believe his business experience would be beneficial when it comes to making decisions and executing them. Governor Romney has a relatively liberal view on social issues compared to his Republican partners.
But that was Governor Romney. The guy currently painting himself as President Romney is none of those things. He’s sacrificed everything that made him an interesting candidate to energize reluctant Republican voters. Remember, NO ONE liked him during the primary. He was basically everyone’s second choice and by process of elimination rose to the top. President Romney has made economic promises that will be impossible to keep. He acts as if China has strangled us by owning our debt and then pretends to get tough with them on trade issues. The trade issues in China are largely similar to the same things we try to do in the US. We are only arguing over technicalities. Likewise, Romney’s plan to create jobs is unsubstantiated and vague. 12 million new jobs amounts to 250,000 a month during his first 4 years. Considering our economic recovery I would expect nothing less than that simply by default. And if that’s 12 million in addition to the 12 million I’d expect then the current plan (if it can be called that) is complete BS. As I said before, the President can’t do much with jobs. Not even in the tech boom first Clinton term were 12 million jobs created (nor in the tech boom second). It was close, but to pretend it was because of Clinton’s policies is worse than the crap that comes out of an animal that eats crap.
Romney has shown that he’s willing to say pretty much anything to get elected, which includes outright BS, misinformed and misdirected statistics, and promises that are impossible to keep. Moreover, his campaign has largely been focused on various versions of “I’m not Obama”.
So how does that make Obama better? He made a bunch of promises he couldn’t keep in 2008. But he’s not doing it now. He hasn’t bothered to spell out much of a plan himself. In 2008 many thought he would be some combination of Abe Lincoln and FDR. He was neither. Instead he surrounded himself with insiders and allowed others to shape policy for him. I mistakenly thought he would be a strong, moderate leader the US could get behind. But Republicans grabbed Obama by the crouch and he refused to punch them in the face or even ask nicely to let go. He just took it.
But Obama has a more realistic vision for the country. He’s not nearly the panderer Romney is either. Despite what attack ads might indicate, he is focused on cutting the deficit in much of the way a moderate would propose such cuts. And unlike the economy this is something a president can do. Make no mistake, Obama, I have no real love for Obama. But here’s something Romney can understand. When it comes to making investments, you have to take risk. But the risks are calculated. Romney’s spreadsheet simply isn’t coherent or calculable. With Obama you get little risk, and little return. Romney could be a big winner. But that would be a bet, not an investment.
The Economist, a right leaning publication, endorsed Obama in a well written article that articulates my problems with both candidates much better than I have been able to.