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STUDENT SHADOW PRESIDENT UPDATE 

Another four is not guaranteed; Obama has his work cut out for him

Dr. AndersonWe are four months into the year 2012, and it is time to weigh in on the activities of President Barack Obama. As we inch closer to the presidential campaign and election, it is going to be rather interesting to watch the moves of the president as he seeks another four years in the White House. There is a host of new issues that Mr. Obama has to confront.

President Obama’s health-care reform bill has met stark criticism and hangs in the balance. The Supreme Court has held several days of hearings on the president’s health-care reform measure, and many observers are speculating that the Supreme Court may well rule the central provision of health-care reform unconstitutional; that is the requirement mandating that all Americans purchase medical insurance or pay a penalty. On March 27, oral arguments suggested that, by a slim majority, the court would strike down the individual mandate as a violation of the U. S. Constitution’s provision that empowers the national government’s power to regulate interstate commerce.  Currently, 15 percent of the United States economy is comprised of the health care industry. An error in Mr. Obama’s health-care reform was focusing on universal coverage rather than exorbitant health-care costs. Obama is viewed as being in favor of “expansive” governmental powers, which his Republican opposition will highlight in his reelection bid.

President Obama had a microphone slip-up during his March 26 trip to Russia that may present complications with his bid for reelection. Russia opposes the United States missile-defense system in Europe, which Russian leaders perceive as a threat to their country’s own deterrence. Obama could be overheard telling Dmitry Medvedev that, after he is reelected, he will have “flexibility” to hear Russia’s demands regarding the opposition to the United States missile-defense system planned for Europe. The president’s opponents have already begun to spin Obama as a “weak” leader willing to acquiesce relative to an international rival. Republicans will surely paint Obama as a weak leader who is a threat to national security interests, and who recklessly jeopardizes national security and relationships with key European allies by “kowtowing” to Russian demands. President Obama has to contend with rising racial animosities. The killing of black teenager Trayvon Martin by the son of a white retired Virginia state Supreme Court magistrate judge who was not arrested or charged, has sparked racial animosities and calls certain southern state laws into question relative to race and injustice. Another issue involving race is the issue of African American unemployment, an issue on which Obama has been criticized for a lack of concern and disconnection. President Obama must consider how he may have antagonized members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). Last year President Obama responded to criticism from the CBC on African American unemployment by telling the members in a speech to “stop whining.” U. S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D‑Calif.) expressed CBC discontent by adding that Obama tells one of the most esteemed and recognized political bodies to “stop whining” on concerns of African American unemployment, yet he did not tell “homosexuals” to stop whining on the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Ms. Waters also mentioned that Obama would not dare tell Israel to “stop whining” on its concerns of Iran being a threat to its national security.

When Obama ran for president in 2008, his charisma, talk of change, and ethnicity factored heavily into his being elected as the first African American president. Upon his inauguration, many saw him as a two-term president. His current approval rating is 47.3 percent, while his disapproval rating is 47.9 percent. Reality sets in. President Obama has his work cut out for him in his reelection effort.

Dr. Matthew Anderson
Shadow President

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