Obama's Dream Summer

Before the conventions that will officially nominate candidates for the U.S. presidential election, Barack Obama has wind in his sails.

A few days before the Republican Convention in Tampa, Florida from August 27 to 30, which will honor his adversary, Mitt Romney, the situation couldn’t be more favorable for Barack Obama.

The Republican candidate’s trip to Europe and Israel was punctuated by blunder after blunder — including his criticism of the management of the London Olympic Games — and diplomatic faux pas. Though excusable, they have undoubtedly had a negative effect on someone who lays claim to the vocation of managing the affairs of the greatest power in the world.

A Young and Controversial Running Mate

The choice of Paul Ryan as a running mate for the Republican ticket certainly has the advantage of reigniting an electoral campaign that had nearly burnt out. Ryan’s radical positions concerning the budget, the economy and social issues bring a note of controversy that contrasts sharply with the blandness of Mitt Romney, the charisma-vacuum. The 42-year-old, flamboyant representative from Wisconsin is certainly neither flat nor vague; however, charming the famous tea party advocates may prove to be difficult due to his neoliberalism, which can be excessive at times and may be too much for the Republican camp. In other words, he has little chance of convincing the “swing” votes, those independent and moderate voters that, as in all democracies, decide the election.

Finally, the health care system reform, Obama’s great work during his first term which received the green light from the Supreme Court this summer, and that of medical cover for senior citizens seem, according to a public survey from the New York Times, to have obtained widespread approval from the American electorate. However, the survey was only conducted in three states — Ohio, Florida and Wisconsin. If we look at Obama’s triumphant states in 2008, the Republicans have won several local elections; we see the outgoing president’s lead seriously melting away in recent months. Fortunately for Obama, instead of relying on talent alone — which will not bring the success it did four years ago — he can build on the blunders and excesses of his opponents.

Reform Projects Challenged

The Medicare reform draft proposed by Romney from the ideas of his running mate contains enough detail to straighten out the American medical fund. It is not medical cover, but rather a voucher system paid by the state to every 55-year-old American, which they must use to care for themselves until the end of their lives by subscribing to private insurance plans, which we know can increase dramatically the longer we live. It’s no wonder that 60 percent of voters surveyed reject this proposal and prefer to keep the current system.

After this showy summer and in order to continue his advance into the fall, you can be sure that Barack Obama will scrutinize the slightest Republican slip-up in the Tampa Bay Times Forum next week. As the Missouri Republican Representative Todd Akin assured last week, pregnancies caused by rape were rare because, “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” This outrageous statement, which could be an argument for denying abortion to rape victims, provoked such an outcry across America and especially with the female electorate that the Republican camp sheepishly asked Akin recently to waive his plan to stand for the Missouri Senate in November. This is another piece of good news for Obama; Missouri was among the states that might make him lose the majority in the Senate.

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