Tag Archive for 'Barack Obama'

Small Business Advocate Poll: Presidential debates and NASCAR

For most of the history of televised presidential debates, we’ve watched them with the anticipation of auto racing fans - waiting for the next wreck. In the case of debates, a “wreck” is some kind of a “gotcha” by one candidate over the other, or a misstep by a candidate.

Presidential debate wrecks are the thing of legend: Richard Nixon sweating profusely in the 1960 debate with Jack Kennedy; Ronald Reagan’s “There you go again,” comment to Jimmy Carter in 1980; Reagan again in 1984 telling Walter Mondale he wouldn’t “hold his youth and inexperience against him”; and George H.W. Bush looking at his watch during a debate against Bill Clinton was considered a wreck to some in 1990. But perhaps the mother of all debate wrecks was when Dukakis’ 1988 running mate, Lloyd Benson t-boned Bush 41’s running-mate, Dan Quayle with the infamous, “You’re no Jack Kennedy” collision.

But all of the foregoing examples must now be considered penultimate presidential debate wrecks, because none of them approach the wipeout represented by the entire performance of Barack Obama in the first 2012 debate against Mitt Romney. In NASCAR terms, Obama’s 90 minute slow-motion wreck created what surely will become the Talladega Class of presidential debate wrecks. Not just because the President basically phoned-in his participation, but because of the way it reversed the momentum of the race like the leader of a NASCAR contest running out of gas a quarter-mile short of the checkered flag, handing the race to a driver who had previously never led a lap.

We wanted to know what our audience thought about race momentum after the first debate, so a couple of weeks ago, we asked this question in our online poll: “With less than a month before the presidential election, regardless of who you plan to vote for, who do you think will win?”

Those who chose Obama/Biden came in at 17%, and 20% said the race was “Still too close to call.” But the big group - 63% - projected that the Romney/Ryan ticket will prevail.

For generations to come, when political pundits handicap an impending presidential debate, any reference to whether debates matter - or the potential for a wreck by either of the candidates - the first reference will be to President Obama’s debate debacle on October 3, 2012 in Denver, Colorado.

The funny thing about momentum is it doesn’t belong to a political party or subscribe to an ideology. The good news for the President is that he still has one more debate to get back in the race. And if you’re like me, you’ll be watching. Because you never know when there could be another Talladega Class, presidential debate disaster.

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The Blame Game

Recently, in the Small Business Advocate poll, we asked this question: Who do you think is most responsible for the current state of the U.S. economy? Here are the results:

27% - Congress

18% - President Obama

55% - Both

Jim’s Comments:

Lately, we’ve been asking what you think of President Obama’s attempts to create jobs in America. Some of our audience members said, “Hey, you’re picking on Obama - what about Congress?”

Well, there are at least two reasons why we don’t think we’ve been picking on the prez:

  1. He’s the president. It’s his watch. He asked for the job. To paraphrase President Truman, he occupies the desk upon which the buck stops.
  2. He has put his jobs plans right out there, expending a lot of words and taxpayer money on various jobs programs of which he has taken full ownership.

Nevertheless, we do agree that Congress shouldn’t be left out. So last week in our online poll, we asked this question: “Who do you think is most responsible for the current state of the U.S. economy?” Here are the results.

All by himself, President Obama did better this week, with only 18% of our voters putting all of the responsibility for our troubled economy on his shoulders. The 535 occupants of the big building on the other end of Pennsylvania Ave. faired a little worse, with 27% of our respondents blaming Congress.

The big number was reserved for Team Politic. More than half of you said both the president and Congress were to blame for the economy, which includes the worst sustained unemployment conditions in generations.

I’m not trying to be controversial, but with these kinds of numbers so close to the next election, and with the economy not expected to improve dramatically over the next 13 months, I’m predicting a major housecleaning in all three houses. Not along party lines, but along the lines of the political class - members of both parties who have long forgotten what they were sent to Washington to do and who they were sent to represent.

For my part, it’s about time.

I talked more on The Small Business Advocate Show about who is to blame for our current economic troubles. Click here to listen or download what I have to say, and while you’re there, see what other people are saying about the economy.

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The great expectations of the presidency of Barack Obama

There is much excitement about Barack Obama becoming the 44th President of the United States. It’s a remarkable moment in American history on many levels.

• In America, we select the future leadership of our government with plenty of healthy political passion and debate, but without physical conflict. It’s not unique in the world, but the United States is the world’s template for this kind of transition.

• Barack Obama is the first black American to be elected to the presidency. Enough said.

• Who can remember when any presidency – even John Kennedy’s – began with as much anticipation and hope?

• Who can remember when any presidency began with such great expectations?

It’s that last point that I think is really the most remarkable. As Americans, we have to guard against placing so much expectation on the performance of one person. Clearly there are certain things we expect our President to do, not the least of which is to take the steps to protect us from being attacked by our enemies. And we want our President to lead with a positive and patriotic attitude that sets the tone for the nation.

But as we anticipate the promise of Barack Obama’s tenure as President, Americans should take stock of our own responsibility as participants and producers of our society and marketplace, and as beneficiaries of the bounty of our great land and republic. Let’s spend more time looking inward at our own roles in our future success.

At the core of our national values is the belief in and desire for self-determination. But the wages of self-determination is self-responsibility. Our success as individuals and that of our nation depends more on each of us individually and collectively as a society than on any president. I think Barack Obama knows this. I pray that this will be his requirement of us as he governs.

Tim Berry, President of Palo Alto Software (www.paloalto.com)and long-time Brain Trust member, and I took a few minutes to talk about this on my small business radio program. Listen to our comments and let us know what you think. This one is only about 6 minutes.

Once and future presidents in Small Business U.S.A.

We’re experiencing so many unprecedented things these days. Never mind the economic challenges and capitalism paradigm shifts, America is about to inaugurate its first black president. But the anticipation of this presidency is as remarkable as this historic electoral breakthrough.

Pulitzer Prize winning columnist, Charles Krauthammer recently observed that, unprecedented in history, we seem to have two presidential scenarios going on today. President Bush is the leader of our foreign policy, but is seemingly irrelevant on domestic matters. President-elect Obama appropriately has nothing to say about affairs abroad; but plans for his first four years in office, especially with regard to dealing with our troubled economy, have become the domestic coin of the realm.

So, what will be the legacy of George W. Bush? And what is the promise of Barack Obama? The answer is the same for both: Time will tell.

History will take a more comprehensive view of Mr. Bush’s tenure in the White House and will find more balance in his legacy than current evidence would suggest. It has become an acceptable sport to deride George Bush, but those who won’t wait for the mill of time to produce a purer grind should temper their judgment with the fact that there is no more difficult job than being the leader of the free world. Indeed, the day will come soon enough when Mr. Obama will pray for this kind of understanding from his critics.

No living person can know the measure of this rude truth more than members of the tiny club the President-elect is about to join; but already he’s being compared to Lincoln, Roosevelt and Kennedy without having spent a day behind the desk in the Oval Office. One commentator recently observed that Obama’s reality will be hard-pressed to measure up to the hope so many have placed in him. Truly, he will need all of our prayers, support whenever possible and critiques when it contributes to the debate.

Recently on my small business radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, I discussed our once and future presidents with Republican strategist, Rich Galen, publisher of the cyber-column, Mullings.com and Brain Trust member. Rich’s decades of experience in national politics give him perspectives you don’t want to miss. Take a few minutes to listen to this interview. And be sure to leave a comment.

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