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No, Obama should not be given a second term

President Obama’s inept and listless performance at the presidential debate in Denver disappointed not just Democratic voters but confounded even his most ardent liberal admirers in the media. But it was sadly a revealing and indicative snapshot of his inability to rise and meet the demands of being President. The better rehearsed feistiness of the President in the subsequent debates does nothing to change that revelation.

Buzz Bissinger, a liberal commentator for The Daily Beast, wrote a heartfelt piece declaring his vote for Mitt Romney. Referring to Obama, Bissinger commented: “He struck me as burnt out, tired of selling his message although he has always been terrible at selling his message when it veers from idealism into the practical.”

I agree with Bissinger. President, Obama has not shown the skills, the aptitude, the temperament or the passion for the job. Obama has failed to forge relationships in Congress, failed to shape national dialog with the power of his ideas, nor engaged the nation to rally behind him. His signature accomplishment—Obamacare—was tirelessly and relentlessly pushed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi. A Rasmussen poll on Oct 8, 2012 showed that over 54% of likely voters favor repealing Obama’s Health Care Law.

Bob Woodward’s latest book The Price of Politics chronicles what he calls “gaps” in leadership due to Obama’s failure to cultivate congressional relationships that was glaringly evident in his failure to strike a deal with Speaker Boehner that would have raised the debt limit while also putting in place a blueprint for a long term budget balance. Woodward told Diane Sawyer in a recent interview, “My conclusion is President Clinton, President Reagan—and if you look at them, you can criticize them for lots of things—they by and large worked their will. On this, President Obama did not.”

President Obama has not instilled confidence in both corporate America and in consumers, thus impacting hiring. Rick Newmann wrote recently in The U.S News that the “real” unemployment number is close to 14.7%—the percentage of adult Americans who are unemployed, underemployed, or too discouraged to look for work or “marginally attached” to the labor force. The job creators, large and small businesses, are in  pause mode as they do not see consistency or clarity coming out of Washington D.C.

President Obama has clearly shown us that he revels in the poetry of a campaign but is simply not capable of the dull and complex prose of governing. We voted for him in 2008 to create history. Regrettably, Barack Obama sought and governed the presidency as an ongoing campaign, as if it was all about him, we need to be wise enough today to vote for his opponent, mindful that the Presidency is and should be all about us.

Rameysh Ramdas, an SF Bay Area professional, writes as a hobby.

Yes, Obama should be given a second term

Only if the first presidential debate matters to you Mitt Romney should get your vote. If not read on. A proper analysis of Obama’s and Romney’s policies should be a key part of this process. A careful look at the jobs data is a starting point. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 650,000 jobs were lost every month from late 2008 to early 2009. Over 8 million jobs were lost between July 2007 and September 2010. Since then the economy has been adding jobs. The composition of the jobs that are being added is interesting to note. During the period from 2000 to 2010, federal and state governments were the largest employers, while the private sector was shedding them in large numbers. This trend is now completely reversed and since September 2010, a majority of the added jobs have been in the private sector.

This means two things. Firstly, the disastrous job loss trends were successfully arrested and pointed in the right direction. Secondly, it seems that the Stimulus plan worked as envisioned. This happened in spite of the fact that not a single Republican voted for the Stimulus in the House. The few moderates that crossed the aisle in the Senate for the good of the country are in a very tenuous position within their party today. This despite a significant portion of the Stimulus being in the form of tax cuts as demanded by Republicans. Without the Stimulus the nation could have plunged into Depression. The Republican refusal to countenance anything Obama put on the table was the result of a concerted effort by the Republican party, spearheaded by Senate Minority Whip Mitch McConnell, who stated in 2010 that his party’s top goal was to make Barack Obama a one term President. Republicans were treasonous enough to stake the economy to make a political point.  So a vote for Obama would be an endorsement of the principle that government can indeed be a force for good and a message against partisan behavior.

President Obama is keen to bring back manufacturing jobs. His plan involves reducing the deficit in a sensible way without choking recovery. He advocates progressive taxation, targeted incentives and a strong emphasis on education to prepare Americans.

From what one can glean from Mitt Romney’s shifting, often conflicting positions, he would favor an across the board tax cut for individuals and a lowering of the corporate tax rate. This is doubling down on the supply side policy implemented by the prior administration which was not effective. U.S. corporations are not hurting for cash, they have 3 trillion in cash reserves. They are lacking demand and good ideas to invest in.  By focusing on people Obama’s policies address the demand side of this economy. This is the right approach.

Mani Subramani works in the semi-conductor industry in Silicon Valley.