Evaluating Obama: was he the better/best choice?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by sysiphus, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. sysiphus macrumors 6502a

    sysiphus

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    #1
    Evaluating what Pres. Obama has and has not done over the past 2+ years, if you had it to do over again, would you still have voted for him (if you did?) Do you wish you had? I mean this primarily in the sense of him vs other Democratic nominees, as opposed to Dem vs GOP (the answers there are probably fairly predictable for the users here, I'd think...). Personally, I would rather have had Hilary get the nod for the job, and felt the same way during the primaries.

    When making this decision, consider the following pros/cons:

    Guantanamo--still open
    Iraq/Afghanistan--progress? enough?
    Finances--the deficit has gone nowhere but up...
    DADT--done!
    PATRIOT act--extended
    Government transparency--worse by many measures (consider higher FOIA request rejection percentages, etc)
    Healthcare law--good? bad? better than nothing?
    (feel free to add to the list etc...)

    Personally, I'm massively disappointed in the lack of transparency, extension of wiretapping/PATRIOT nonsense, increase in deficit spending, the fact that Guantanamo is still open, and that we're not out of at least one of Iraq/Afghanistan yet. I don't think the healthcare bill is even close to what it should have been--compelling purchase of services from private healthcare firms doesn't click for me. Gotta go all-in on the single-payer idea...or not at all. But what we got instead doesn't help. To his credit, I'm thrilled that DADT is history, and that DOMA is headed the same way.

    To be fair, without a true super-majority in both houses, it would be absurd to place all blame/credit on the president. That said, my perspective is that the Dems had enough power to pull off pretty much whatever they wanted over the past couple years--and have shockingly little good to show for it. Wrapping things up: I wish we'd gotten Hilary instead. (If McCain had not picked a total buffoon as a running mate/had he resembled his 2000-era image, I'd have preferred him...but that's another story)

    Thoughts?
     
  2. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #2
    Yes, why? Do we need more of this?
     
  3. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

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    #3
    best choice? yes, definitely better than Clinton. Why do you think she would've been better?

    The question to me is who do the deems turn to in 2016?
     
  4. sysiphus thread starter macrumors 6502a

    sysiphus

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    #5
    Need has nothing to do with it, I'm sure. One could easily say the same thing about any of the content on this site, really--or at bare minimum that in the PRSI. But thanks for the thoughtful input, much appreciated :)

    Sky Blue: My thought is that the other Clinton did, by and large, a good job, whereas on several key issues, I believe Obama has thus far been a failure. Flawed logic, I'm sure. Why do you think Obama is superior to Clinton?
     
  5. sysiphus thread starter macrumors 6502a

    sysiphus

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    #6
  6. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    #7
    Yeah, I think we should discuss Stephen Harper.
     
  7. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #8
    If I knew then what I know now, I'd have voted for Hillary Clinton.

    There's no telling whether she'd have done any better, but at least we'd have someone with balls in the White House.
     
  8. CaptMurdock macrumors 6502a

    CaptMurdock

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    #9
    Somehow I doubt she'd get that far. If she had gotten the nomination, her negatives amongst the moderates and independents (not to mention the Democratic base) would have pushed the election towards McCain. OTOH, the thought of Caribou Barbie a 74-year-old heartbeat away from the Presidency might have given a lot of people pause... assuming of course Hanoi John picked her as his running mate if Hilary had won the Democratic nomination.

    Lots of variables here. Bottom line, Obama is far from perfect, but he's still better than most of the viable alternatives.
     
  9. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    #10
    Two things to keep in mind. Hillary would have picked Barack as her running mate, and he probably would have accepted. But the left were riled, the economy was plunging, and McCain was not on his game at all. I believe the Republicans were not terribly enthusiastic about him anyway. Kucinich could have beaten McCain (and in that case, we would be much better off today).
     
  10. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #11
    In retrospect, I disliked Hillary, and thought she would be more polarizing, but I think now that she would have been the better candidate. Obama should have been her vice president so he could get more experience and then run in 2016.
     
  11. Dmac77, Mar 17, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011

    Dmac77 macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

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    #12
    As someone who wanted McCain to win (what was I thinking????), I personally think that Clinton would have been the better choice after doing some research on her campaign positions. Obama honestly doesn't have enough experience to be an effective President. Clinton knew/knows how Washington works, and she could have used to her knowledge of the beltway to manipulate congress very effectively. I was saddened to hear last night that she has once again said that she isn't going to run again; if she changes her mind I will help her campaign anyway I can.

    -Don
     
  12. Rt&Dzine, Mar 17, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011

    Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a

    Rt&Dzine

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    #13
    I don't think there's any way that Kucinich could have beaten McCain.


    And a general comment, Hillary wouldn't have beaten McCain either. Even with his wacky vp pick.
     
  13. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #14
    I agree that Hilary Clinton would have probably been better. Like fivepoint, some other conservatives who are against foreign wars, and many liberals know, the president has been a little too hawkish. Some conservative Republicans like Palin have, at times, praised Obama for the hawk stances, but much of the GOP isn't seeing progress either and may tag these two wars as Obama's wars en masse come election time.

    At a certain point, if the president does not get us out, the two wars will be his as much as they were George's wars. Just because the first hawk was W, doesn't mean that Obama won't ultimately end up being a hawk also. W's downfall in popularity was partly due to these two wars and they are not helping Obama. Even if the economy is strong in 2012, the lingering wars could cause Obama the election.

    But as for voting for McCain in 2008, with any running mate...no way for me. I voted Green in 2008 and the most conservative I can see myself voting is a left-leaning Libertarian like a Gene Burns.

    Right now, I don't see any Republican (on record with everything known to be said publicly) who is going to be a dove here on both these wars. Besides Palin, both Giuliani and Gingrich have also praised the war effort at some point in Obama's administration though it would be a popular move to take that stance back.

    If Obama doesn't do something positive rather quickly, he could tarnish the democratic party and if anything, have the public see it as another "pro-war" party.
     
  14. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

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    #15
    better choice than McCain/Crazy lady? Yes better choice than Hillary? yes

    filled all his promises? no. i'd say my personal approval rating of him is just above 50%.. but not much. still i will probably vote for him next year because sadly he will still be better than what ever the clown party decides to nominate this time.
     
  15. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    #16
    The financial crisis defined the '08 election. When prospects look poor ("country is 'headed in the wrong direction'"), the in-party always struggles. The WS-meltdown was too big a hill for McCain, all his opponent really needed was a pulse.
     
  16. 63dot, Mar 17, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011

    63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #17
    Palin hurt McCain but the GOP was doomed that election cycle. The negatives about Palin (weird comments as Fox commentator, and walking out on governorship job) had not happened yet and at worst, people may have thought Palin was a nice person but simply not qualified enough.

    I like Kucinich but he didn't have the name recognition. Maybe too low key. The most I have ever seen was one bumper sticker. I like him but he could have used a better PR team. He may have beaten McCain.
    So I have to say I really don't agree with you concerning McCain's perceived strength in 2008. He was beaten by an African American one term Senator, not yet 50 years old, in a nation which is largely white. One has to get into context just how big of a deal that was. Two and a half years later, Obama is simply just another suit who didn't keep all his promises. So in that context, I think a former first lady, who some say got to where she was because of Bill Clinton, could have done what seemed unlikely and beaten John McCain. 2008 showed America was ready for a black president, and had Hilary Clinton won the democratic primaries, America would have shown they were ready for a female president.

    McCain was pretty much set to lose 2008,
    as was any Republican because the entire party was beaten, actually beaten to death without a pulse, by George W. Bush. Just like in 1992, the democrats smelled blood. When George H.W. Bush was unwilling to acknowledge the recession at the time, the democrats pounced and put in Clinton. Any other democrat (at least a governor or senator) could have beaten the elder Bush in 1992.

    So in 2008 with the most unpopular president in US history with George W. Bush (actually after James K. Polk) over his time in office, the democrats could have run a cartoon character and won.

    The same thing happened in reverse when Jimmy Carter was president and he didn't realize it was about the economy (stupid) thus he was vulnerable in 1980 against any republican. Also in 1968 with the unresolved Vietnam war, the democrats were not in a good position to win the election and a suspicious person like Nixon could come in and win. Obama has a weak economy and an unresolved war, but he is taking ownership which may help him. The worst thing Obama can do come debate time is to ignore the economy and wars at hand.

    The best tactic for Obama when the GOP candidates start putting their hats in this contest, is to focus on what promises have been kept and keep a steady plan, with a timeline, as to what he will do to fulfill the unfulfilled promises (which are likely to still be there in early 2012). Obama needs to come up with a way to counter who will most likely be his challenger from Giuliani to Palin, and from Gingrich to Romney.

    I don't think he will need to worry about Tea Party separatists, or far right candidates like a Bauer or far right voices like a Glenn Beck. The GOP is going to talk right wing junk until they get a person they think can win, and then they will attack the middle to get moderates and independents.

    This is where Obama will need to protect the the now vulnerable purple states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia. It's only because of the bad taste of W that those states voted "blue" and it would be hard to consider them blue right now in 2011 (except for maybe Ohio which has backlashed against bad moves by the GOP).
     
  17. Sydde, Mar 17, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011

    Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    #18
    Ohio is pretty problematic. No Republican has ever been elected president without it, so they do pay a lot of attention to it. With a Republican in the state house, they will have a great deal of control over how the states votes swing, by manipulating the election system like they did in '04. The more votes get counted correctly, the harder it tends to be for a Republican to get elected. Hence this absurd focus on "keeping the election honest".
     
  18. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #19
    So far, all of the likely Republican candidates for President appear to be psychotic or willing to act psychotic to keep their psychotic base happy. Obama despite disappointing me in some major ways, appears to be a sane choice.
     
  19. torbjoern, Mar 18, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2011

    torbjoern macrumors 65816

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    #20
    Do you want to be stung by a bee or a wasp? I think bees are better because they're usually less venomous and seem less aggressive than wasps.
     
  20. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #21
    I'm not sure about that, but I do think that Kucinich would've made a much stronger president than Obama. If there's one thing that man does, it's use the power of the bully pulpit. I doubt he would've had as much trouble getting HCR through (and probably gotten a better version, too), and he'd have been all over Wall Street.
     
  21. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #22
    I think you both sum up my thoughts perfectly. I think Clinton would have governed better in the sense that she wouldn't have backed down as much, and I would have preferred Kucinich because he's basically so far left that he wouldn't have to pretend to play the damned bi-partisan card. Hell, we'd have UHC by now.
     
  22. SwiftLives macrumors 65816

    SwiftLives

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    #23
    One of the many reasons I heard against voting for Hillary was that she would be a polarizing figure - and a lightning rod for the right.

    Hm. Irony. :D

    Overall, I did not have overinflated expectations for the Obama presidency. If anything, I see him as a pragmatist rather than an opportunist or a corporatist. And I don't think I can say that about any president I can remember in my lifetime. (The ones I can remember go back to Reagan. I don't have much memory of Carter).
     
  23. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a

    Rt&Dzine

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    #24
    I view the situation similarly to SwiftLives. Obama has disappointed me in his weakness with the Republicans and his PR. He was naive to think the Republicans would be willing to play ball. Otherwise he's done pretty much what I expected from a moderate conservative Democrat. I feel strongly that Hillary couldn't have won the general election. Some of you are too young to remember the viscous hatred of Hillary. Although I like him, Kucinich can't even come close to winning the support of Democrats on a national level. So as far as dealing with the reality of the situation, I think Obama was the better choice over McCain.
     
  24. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #25
    Had Hillary won the primary, I think Obama would have been the de-facto choice for VP, and I imagine he would have accepted. I think that would stymie some of that malcontent.
     

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