President Obama is running for re-election during arguably the worst recession since the Great Depression, a recession that his economic policies have prolonged and exacerbated. Despite the fact that he has not articulated any clear and realistic plan to resolve it, he is running neck and neck with Mitt Romney in the polls. You may ask yourself: How can this be so, particularly since history tells us that presidents running for re-election during bad economic times almost always lose. Recent examples include Herbert Hoover, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. Absent a unifying crisis, such as a war, historically Americans have “voted for their pocketbook” and thrown out the incumbent.
I believe the answer is likeability. The polls show that a majority of people view President Obama as a nice guy and genuinely like him more than Mr. Romney. This has translated into a voting preference for enough of them to create a virtual dead heat in the polls. Unfortunately, we are not selecting someone to hang out with for the weekend; we are selecting a President to lead us out of a very serious economic crisis. Personally, I also like President Obama; however, I do not think he done well enough to earn a second term.
Ask yourself: God forbid, if you needed a very serious operation would you want a likeable surgeon of average competence or an unlikeable one who was very competent. Personally, if my life were at stake, I would want the best surgeon regardless of his personality. Well, the economic life of this country is at stake. It doesn’t need a nice guy. It needs the best man available regardless of personality. Hopefully, enough voters will realize this in November, and history will repeat itself.