- The Washington Times - Monday, May 7, 2012

President Obama’s campaign slogan isn’t “hope and change” anymore. The re-election effort technically kicked off on Saturday with a rally at which Mr. Obama revealed his theme through November will be that the present state of the economy is George W. Bush’s fault and it will take eight years to fix it. The American people are hoping for real change to get us out of this economic mess, not more excuses like that.

On Monday, Obama for America released a 60-second ad, “Go,” which is based on the longer “Forward” video from last week. Campaign Manager Jim Messina wrote to supporters, “We know that people who see this commercial become more likely to vote for the president - what we don’t know is how often we can afford to put our ads on the air.” The email then begs supporters to donate at least $3 to put the advertisement on TV stations in nine unnamed battleground states. The video isn’t very compelling.

“Go’s” first 22 seconds focus on the mortgage meltdown in 2008 and the Wall Street drop “all before this president took the oath,” voiced over an Inauguration Day scene. Only 15 seconds are devoted to Mr. Obama’s purported accomplishments, which include killing Osama bin Laden, getting troops out of Iraq, keeping the auto industry afloat and ostensibly creating 4 million jobs. What’s even more telling is what is left out: Obamacare and the $832 billion stimulus, the only two major legislative achievements for which he actually can take full credit.

Four years ago, Mr. Obama campaigned like a rock star before packed crowds and adoring fans. Saturday’s rally at Ohio State University only attracted 14,000 to the 20,000-seat stadium. It’s a tough sell to ask for more time in a growthless recovery. No wonder Mr. Obama keeps moving the goal posts.


One week before Election Day in 2008, Mr. Obama told supporters, “The question in this election is not ‘Are you better off than you were four years ago?’ We all know the answer to that. The real question is, ‘Will this country be better off four years from now?’ “

Three-and-a-half years later, the answer is obviously negative, so the president needs to reframe his rhetoric. That’s why Mr. Obama said in Columbus this weekend, “The real question - the question that will actually make a difference in your life and in the lives of your children - is not just about how we’re doing today. It’s about how we’ll be doing tomorrow.” That’s Barack’s way of asking for a second chance.

Voters have heard enough empty promises. Mr. Obama has added $5 trillion to the debt, lost America’s AAA credit rating, left at least 8 percent of Americans out of a job and produced the lowest labor-force participation rate since 1981. This country is not better off than it was four years ago. Staying on the same leftist track won’t make us better off tomorrow.

Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.