I have to hand it to them; the White House PR folks have pretty good memories. They haven’t forgotten that on a recent visit to Southern Nevada, presidential candidate Mitt Romney uttered the now famous words: “[D]on’t try and stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit bottom. Allow investors to buy homes, put renters in them, fix the homes up, and let it turn around and come back up.”
Romney isn’t famous for warm fuzzies and this quote is no exception but still, he makes a good point. The housing crisis isn’t over, and Nevada’s markets have yet to equalize. There are still people struggling to keep their homes and although what Romney said sounds harsh, he’s right. Some people simply can’t afford their homes and unfortunately may lose them as a result. The foreclosures have to work their way out of the system before we can truly get a handle on the stuccoed mess that is Nevada’s housing market.
President Barack Obama, however, doesn’t happen to agree. Fresh off a swanky party with his Hollywood buddies over at actor George Clooney’s house, and still basking in the adoration from his base because of his newfound support for same sex marriage Obama decided to make a campaign stop in Reno and tie up traffic for hours.
Armed with a new plan to supposedly help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure, Obama sat at the kitchen table of Val and Paul Keller and congratulated himself on a job well done because the Kellers are now saving $240 a month off their mortgage. If one believes his lofty rhetoric filled with generalities, veiled swipes at Mitt Romney and broad brush promises, this single measure is going to right the wrongs of the world. His words were predictably smooth and as usual he told a crowd of carefully invited guests that if the Republicans don’t give him carte blanche, it’s obviously because they only want their rich one-percenter friends to have homes. The rest of the country can suck it.
Citing a to-do list of tired liberal talking points, Obama called for an end to “tax breaks to companies that ship jobs and factories overseas,” helping small business, something about green energy and to my surprise, creating a Veteran’s Job Corps.
A bright point in the speech, I was happy to hear him acknowledge this proposal because like it or not, with the draw down of the wars in the Middle East, there will be hundreds of thousands of American soldiers coming home and needing jobs. Some have been gone for years, and we need to truly support our troops—by helping them return to civilian life. The Veteran’s Job Corps is a start, but I’m still waiting for his intentions concerning veteran’s healthcare. Many of these returning soldiers are affected by such maladies as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and the answer isn’t just to give them a disability check. Let’s rehabilitate them and teach them how to live happily and successfully in the society they fought so hard to protect.
This campaign stop offers some insight into the President’s reelection strategy. Obama handily won Nevada in 2008 by tapping into the fears of a state decimated by the recession. His blame-George-Bush-for-everything-from-the-economy-to-tramp-stamp-tattoos strategy propelled him to victory, but today it’s his economy now and things are still in terrible shape. A recent Rasmussen poll has Republican candidate Mitt Romney ahead by 7 points and although it’s still early, Obama has his work cut out for him. The vague generalizations, platitudes, and blame shifting that defined his 2008 campaign aren’t going to work this time because as much as he doesn’t want one, he has a record now. People may still faint at the very sight of their savior, but in considerably smaller numbers this time around. We already know his campaign team will tirelessly spin away any charges lobbed at him but that won’t necessarily translate into votes. Nevadans want results. Period.
Nevada’s six electoral votes are key to his reelection strategy and Friday’s dog and pony show proves that. He came, he spoke, and with all the fanfare we experienced in 2008, he still implores us to pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
Originally printed in the Daily Sparks Tribune: http://dailysparkstribune.com/bookmark/18575825/article-Have%20no%20fear%20Obama%20is%20here!%20#.T6_Eyr4A5hI.facebook