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Wednesday, Nov. 29
The Indiana Daily Student

How Barack Obama can become great

Obama wins.

President Barack Obama is nearly unrecognizable from the man he was four years ago.

It’s not the gray hair or the tired face.

It’s the tone of his voice and the rotten re-election campaign he just dragged the American people through.

Obama summed up his campaign in an off-teleprompter remark at a rally several days ago after the crowd started to boo when he mentioned Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Don’t boo, he said, “Vote. Voting’s the best revenge.”

The past year, the president has been angry, spiteful, divisive, childish and uninspiring. He spent almost all of his time demonizing his opponent and almost none of it articulating what another four years under his leadership will mean for America. Whereas the president spent 2008 appealing to best of the American people —their optimism and desire for unity — he spent 2012 appealing to the worst of them — their fears, their envies, their pessimism.

Yet, he won. Obama will be a two-term president.

So, what will the next four years bring? Like 2008, he provided us with few clues to help us predict the future.

As I see it, he has two options.

One path leads to more of the same: partisan gridlock, cronyism and massive financial imbalance. This is the path that nearly cost Obama a second term and sent millions of his ’08 supporters fleeing to the Romney camp in 2012.

Along the other path is compromise, reform and an attempt at balanced budgets.

This is the path Americans want to hike.

Through 2016, the president must remember something he tragically forgot during his first term: he is the president of every American, not just the liberal fanatics he let control Congress during his first two years in the White House.

He must realize his presidency gave birth not only to Obamacare but to the Tea Party, a massive populist movement that dictated the dialogue in senate races throughout the country and whose concerns about fiscal responsibility and limited government are shared by independents and moderate Democrats. These people refuse to be ignored.

Remember the heated protests and town hall meetings staged during the legislative battle concerning Obamacare? Remember the huge lines at Chick-fil-A restaurants throughout the country after big city liberals tried to take away our fried chicken?
Remember the overwhelming crowds at the Romney rallies in the final weeks of the campaign?

The only way for Obama to become a great president is to address the concerns of these people and work with the Republicans in Congress.

Former President Bill Clinton, unlike Obama, pivoted to the right after his mid-term defeat and cruised to reelection. Now Clinton is one of the most admired and successful men to have held the office.

The American people are predominantly a conservative people. Since former President Ronald Reagan, conservatism has been rising as the old school. New Deal, Great Society liberalism has descended.

Clinton famously declared in 1996, “The era of big government is over.”

Obama came into office and spat in the face of this notion. He resolved to become a progressive giant, and it nearly cost him re-election.

If he continues governing in the same way he governed the last four years, he will go down in history as one of this country’s most ineffective presidents.

I guess the lesson here is about realizing the dangers of ignoring the will of the people to impose your own.

Obama has been warned.

Let’s see what the next four years bring.


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