By Olivia Selley
“I’m the commander – see, I don’t need to explain – I do not need to explain why I say things. That’s the interesting thing about being president.” G.W Bush
I don’t know what the general opinion in the UK is of Barack Obama. I don’t know even if given the furore of the Olympics, the upcoming US elections is something anyone has designated a lot of thought to, yet.
A lot of people have lost confidence in Obama since he struggled to pass all of his health reforms and after he failed to deliver on all of his non-militant policies, but really there is a lot still to be said for him.
Unlike previous presidents Obama doesn’t have a background steeped in the Vietnam War or 60s cultural conflicts but he is a President for our modern age. In his first term as President he passed economic stimulation programmes, created new rules for Wall Street and overturned legislation preventing openly gay men from serving in the military. As well as this, perhaps just to tick the box of ‘dealing with 60s cultural throwbacks’, he signed a new arms deal with Demitri Medvedev.
As is usual in big elections, in 2008 when Obama won the Presidency, the electorates were voting for change. Obama motivated young voters as they were after something new. I do not believe that apathy is now deeply enough entrenched in the US for the same vote for change to be activated in favour of Romney.
In a YouGov poll of more than 25,000 people across the UK, France and Germany only 5% were favourable towards Romney, while the other 95% actively believed that a Romney victory would lead to a downturn in European/US relations. Of course these statistics are unlikely to have any impact on proceedings in the US.
However, perhaps Mitt Romney’s lack of tact will be his undoing. On a visit to London earlier this summer, Mitt Romney was on a mission to prove his foreign policy competence. Instead he rather offended UK onlookers by expressing concern and doubts over our preparedness to host the games. Good old BoJo stepped up on stage before a crowd of jubilant supporters saying “I heard there’s some guy, there’s some guy called Mitt Romney who doesn’t think we’re ready!” Quite right – some guy indeed!
Obama’s main criticism of Romney is that he lacks foreign policy experience. Well – so did Obama when he started but he overcame that. Sadly for Romney has had ‘triple tact bypass surgery’. I wonder if experience could ever be his saving grace.