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Debate with Romney: Obama Stoops to Conquer
|by Dr. Ratan Bhattacharjee|
The much-awaited Romney-Obama debate comes to many as October surprise, not because Obama did something unexpectedly on the debate table, but because Mitt Romney seemed to have defeated President Barrack Obama. The American newspapers including The Washington Post and The New York Times have described Obama as a 'dodger' in the debate. He bypassed all the charges and everyone has started asking : "O naked king where are your clothes?"
Mitt Romney began with a low profile but ended with great expectations. He was offensive all the time. But Obama remained defensive and rarely looked aggressive for counter attack. Even the factual errors in Romney’s speech were not challenged. The Presidential exchange on giant TV screens frustrated the Obama fans. It is the 20th anniversary of their marriage and Michelle Obama found it to be the worst day for herself. Obama looked quite annoyed. Romney’s vulnerable points such as his tax return issue or the Romney association with Bain Capital.
The President only outlined the vision for his next four years in office. What is the secret behind this low profile strategy of Obama? Does Obama’s strength lies elsewhere? Why did Obama stoop so low before Romney?
The political pundits all over the world now argue that Obama stoops to conquer. It is very much understandable why Obama deliberately planned to keep his powder dry during the first debate with Romney because the election is still five weeks away. He did not want to fritter away his capital on the very first debate.
Obama knows that the Presidential contest is now one sided. Romney lags far behind Obama in America for various reasons. It may be argued comfortably why Obama is still popular even after the recession and unemployment. The brilliant, brave raid by U.S. Navy SEALS that resulted in the killing of bin Laden is regarded by the Americans as a major national security objective and it is a big victory for Obama. President George W. Bush initiated the war on terror and kept the United States safe after the terrorist attack on September 11, 2011. However, Bush, a member of a party with a reputation for being strong on defense - did not capture Al-Qaeda Leader Osama bin Laden in the remaining seven years of his presidency.
President Obama wound-down the controversial Iraq War and is trying to find some constructive end to the President Bush-initiated Afghanistan War. Romney has not raised the issue of poverty which is Obama’s Achilles’ heel. The lowest percentage in poverty in the USA was 11.1 percent in 1973. The rate climbed as high as 15.2 percent in 1983. In 2000, after a spurt of prosperity, it went back down to 11.3 percent.
The first thing needed is more jobs that pay decent wages. Amercia needs a full-employment policy and a bigger investment in 21st-century education and skill development strategies if a true way out of the impasse of the current economic malaise is to be found. Half the jobs in the USA pay less than $34,000 a year, according to the Economic Policy Institute. A quarter pay below the poverty line for a family of four, less than $23,000 annually.
According to the most recent data available from the Census Bureau, 104 million people — a third of the population — have annual incomes below twice the poverty line, less than $38,000 for a family of three. They struggle to survive with low-wage jobs which bedevil tens of millions of people. America is a land of plenty but there is poverty in the land of plenty.
President Obama knows that hunger is an issue in America. As a child Obama experienced hunger and as a Presidential candidate he now finds out ways for tackling domestic hunger.
Ronald Regan once rightly said: “We fought a war on poverty and poverty won.” With 46 million Americans — 15 percent of the population — now counted as poor, it’s tempting to think he may have been right.” 15 million more people are poor today. Obama’s sense of realism prompted him to pledge to do something effective about the eradication of poverty. He understands first hand that federal nutrition and food assistance programs play a key role in minimizing the ill- effets of poverty. He also knows the need for improving the diet of the low salaried working families, especially children. Nutrition assistance programmes will be expanded and by 2015, there is a promise to end childhood hunger and poverty in the USA.
The first thing that is to be done is to ensure the protection of vulnerable people such as the low income seniors. Aiding the community groups feeding the hungry is also a part of the Obama plan. School and weekend meals will now get a great attention Obama has mentioned all these in outline only. It is a positive speech and not one to offend. Romney as expected began from the beginning on the offensive which is quite natural. After the most severe U.S. recession since the Great Depression, and the long period of high unemployment (plus 8 percent), all the party out of the White House it is undesirable that Obama got bogged-down talking about repealing Obamacare, banning abortion (even restricting contraception), and about curtailing established civil rights for gays/lesbians, and opposing a raise in the debt ceiling.
The nominating of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney - a mid-quality candidate in a weak field has become an added advantage because his flip-flopping on issues reveals his lack of connection to the typical. So Obama will be the sure winner in the election contest whatever happens in the first day of debate.
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