Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Guest Post from Barbara Martin

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Next week, Barack Obama will give a speech at the Democratic convention. It has been four years since supporters filled a stadium in Denver to hear their future president speak before a backdrop of Greek columns. Obama spoke of hope and change, of a new tone in Washington, and promised what he would do if given the office of President.

I can remember being impressed. I have been a Republican my entire life, and I never seriously considered voting for Obama. But I understood why others did. And I wondered myself if this young Senator could really deliver on his grand vision. He was certainly impressive. But four years is a long period of time. We live our lives, and news stories come and go. I doubt many remember what Obama promised at that convention in 2008. Now is the perfect time to look back.

At his 2008 convention, Barack Obama said: “We measure progress by how many people can find a job that pays the mortgage; whether you can put a little extra money away at the end of each month so you can someday watch your child receive her college diploma.” But unemployment has been over eight percent for 44 straight months, the longest such period in our nation’s history. And the rate is even higher for those young people who have just received a college diploma.

At his 2008 convention, Barack Obama said: “We measure progress in the 23 million new jobs that were created when Bill Clinton was President - when the average American family saw its income go up $7,500 instead of down $2,000 like it has under George Bush.” But middle class family income has dropped by $4,000 under Obama.

At his 2008 convention, Barack Obama said: “We measure the strength of our economy not by the number of billionaires we have or the profits of the Fortune 500, but by whether someone with a good idea can take a risk and start a new business.” But we now know that all the good ideas and risk taking in the world won’t help you start a new business because you didn’t build that.

At his 2008 convention, Barack Obama said: “And for the sake of our economy, our security, and the future of our planet, I will set a clear goal as President: in ten years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East.” But after four years we are no closer to energy independence. Instead we have dumped billions of stimulus dollars down the drain, much to Obama cronies and contributors for green energy busts like Solyndra. At the same time, gas prices have more-than-doubled while Obama has restricted offshore drilling and killed the Keystone pipeline.

These were just some of the promises Obama made at the 2008 convention. The Democrats will meet again next week, and two things will happen. Obama will make a new set of promises. And Obama will attack Mitt Romney.

As to Obama’s new promises, we need to ask how we can believe these new promises when he has failed miserably to deliver on his Convention promises from 2008.

As to the attacks on Mitt Romney, it is probably best to consider Obama’s own words. At his 2008 convention, Barack Obama said: “If you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from. You make a big election about small things.”

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