Jamill Meadows: Can a hamstrung President win re-election?

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As we go into the last year of President Obama’s first term in office, we look back and wonder what might have been. He came into office under the banner of “hope” but now, thanks to republicans blocking most all of his ideas and thanks to his own missteps, we wonder if there will be a second term.

During a recent conversation with ToK (Theory of Knowledge) and 11th grade History of the Americas teacher Mr. Vitti, we discussed the re-electability of Barack Obama. I asked if he thought that President Obama could get re-elected purely on the fact that he caught and killed Osama bin Laden. He believes that there are more factors outside of the Office of the President that can help and hinder his presidential re-electability.

One reason he would get re-elected is obviously because his administration’s dealings with bin Laden and also because his presidency helped in the fall of Moammar Ghadaffi but with that said, the way the economy is going be the main reason why it’s going to be a challenge for him to get re-elected. People are going to look at their current financial situations and say, “Am I comfortable with four more years of this president?” and yet,  I doubt Americans are really comfortable with any of the GOP candidates.

 I also had a conversation with CAS Civics teacher Mr. Naveh and I asked him about his opinion of the presidency of our current President Barack Obama. He replied by saying, “President Obama has faced numerous problems that he has, in a way, struggled to overcome.”

Americans putting the republicans in charge of the House and Senate wasn’t the brightest idea ever, so I asked him about what he thought in terms of how it will affect Obama’s re-electability.

“Time will tell,” he replied, “if the statement that America didn’t trust Obama enough to give him four full years with the democrats in charge will have the largest affect in the long run.” Then, I had to wonder if he had an opinion on the republicans in the House and their continual vetoing of bills that President Obama is proposing. Is this because they are trying to decrease his re-electability or are they truly genuine?

 “To me it looks like there is a mix,” he replied, “Some of people that are in the House that are part of the GOP party are just trying to stop what they think will help his stock. But then again, there are people that truly disagree with the agenda of President Obama.”

As a wrap up question, I asked Mr. Naveh if Obama can win without the push of the “Yes We Can” campaign like he had in 2008. “It is going to be hard for him to have a good push without the famous ‘Yes We Can’ campaign,”  he said.  

            The average American isn’t politically savvy enough to realize that President Obama can’t just do anything he wants. Hardly anyone realizes that the whole “Yes We Can” campaign in 2008 was just a bunch of “smoking mirrors.” It’s more than just the President who makes the decisions for our country; that’s why the forefathers signed the Constitution, so you can’t expect all of your problems and all of America’s problems to just simply go away.

I know President Obama’s intentions were good, but it seems like the Senate and the House are against everything he wants to do, even if it’s good for America. Republicans and democrats hardly ever see eye to eye when it comes to what they think is best for the country as a whole.  But to answer the overarching question, “Are president Obama’s hands tied?” I will say yes, especially with how the Americans put the Republicans in charge of the House and of the Senate in 2010. It may prove to be a turning point in 2012.

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