The Terrible Economy and the Anti-Election of 2012
Robert B. Reich
The worst economy since the Great Depression and you might think at least one of the candidates would come up with a few big ideas for how to get us out of it.
But you'd be wrong. Neither candidate wants to take any chances by offering any large, serious proposals. Both are banking instead on negative campaigns that convince voters the other guy would be worse.
President Obama has apparently decided against advancing any bold ideas for what he'd do in the second term, even if he has a
He's sticking to a worn script that says
Yet the public wants bigger ideas from the president, and wants to know what he'll do in his second term to get us out of this mess. A recent
The president could propose a new WPA, modeled after the Depression-era jobs program that hired hundreds of thousands of jobless Americans to rebuild the nation's infrastructure, and a new
He could suggest permanently exempting the first
But you won't hear any of this, or anything else of this magnitude, because the
Besides, polls also show Romney isn't well-liked by the electorate.
So Obama has decided to campaign as the anti-Romney.
Romney is playing it even more cautiously. His economic plan is really a non-plan: more tax cuts for the rich, undefined spending cuts, and no details about how he'd bring down the budget deficit. No presidential candidate since
Romney's advisors assume Obama can't possibly be re-elected with the economy this bad. A
So Romney's advisors have concluded that all Romney has to do between now and
Romney has decided to campaign as the anti-Obama.
The two anti-the-other-guy strategies fit with a ton of negative advertising that's just begun but will reach mammoth proportions after
So whatever happens on
Second, the only thing the public will have decided is that it fears and distrusts the other guy more. Which means the winner will also be burdened by almost half the electorate thinking he's a scoundrel or worse.
The worst economy since the Great Depression, but we're in an anti-election that will make it harder for the next occupant of the oval office to do a thing about it.
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The Terrible Economy and the Anti-Election of 2012 | Politics
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