Metropolitik: Crossing the aisle was Barack Obama’s mistake

President Obama will likely work to repair the damage to his brand in tomorrow’s night’s State of the Union speech.

For complaints, suggestions and third-party communiques on behalf of an embattled West African monarchy, please e-mail brayden.simms@metro.us.

Monday night the four Republican presidential hopefuls still left standing met in Tampa, Fla., for the 18th debate of the campaign cycle, and we’re sure it was a doozy. Former front-runner Mitt Romney, buffeted by attacks from the tricky Newt Gingrich, must take control of the narrative and go on the offensive. We predict a rumble.

However, the debate runs too late for our analysis, which will instead run tomorrow. Today we’re going to address a New Yorker article by reporter Ryan Lizza that chronicles the death of hope in President Obama’s first three years of rule as the Chicago newcomer’s much-ballyhooed post-partisanship crashed headfirst into the messy realities of Washington gridlock.

In this analysis, reformer Obama grossly underestimated the nature of U.S. two-party politics, in which a win for one party — and perhaps the country at large — may be perceived by the opposition party as a big loss (and therefore scuttled) regardless of its potential to improve the lot of regular Americans; and in which a hyperpartisan national media infrastructure can effectively motivate negative public opinion in support of special interests.

In short, the system — as we all now, irrespective of party affiliation, seem hopelessly aware — is broken at the core. When potentially beneficial legislation is viewed in Washington through the prism of future electoral chances; when, in other words, good ideas are killed off solely owing to the perception that they could aid rival politicians come next November; when elected officials weigh their own upcoming contests more heavily then the general welfare of the American people; what we get are politicians looking to benefit not “we the people” but “me the candidate.”

Obama, of course, did not create this system, but he does seem to have run aground of it. And if he wants to win re-election, he’ll have to work with it.

Slip of the tongue, or straight talk?

“If I’m fortunate enough to become president, I’ll care very deeply about it getting better in a big hurry.”

Mitt Romney on the economy yesterday. Some have pointed out that Romney’s diction here implies that he’s not particularly interested in the economy improving in the meantime, which makes perfect sense:?Romney is running on a platform that President Obama has failed to improve the economy.

Follow Brayden Simms on Twitter @Metropolitik

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages. 


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