Over the past few days, more newspapers, including ones in critical states such as Ohio and Michigan, have endorsed President Obama’s re-election because of his impressive record of accomplishments and strong and steady leadership, and because President Obama has the best plans moving forward for creating jobs, promoting economic growth, and keeping our nation safe.
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If there is one corner of Ohio that should vote overwhelmingly for the re-election of President Barack Obama, it is the Mahoning Valley.
We say that not for the tired old reason that the Valley almost always votes Democratic. We say it because when the question “are you better off today than you were four years ago” is asked, the Mahoning Valley can answer yes. And President Obama has earned much of the credit.
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Under the adage that all politics is local, the Valley’s resurgence would be reason enough to re-elect President Obama. But in addition, Obama has shown a political courage in tackling health care reform, a deep understanding of international issues, and a willingness to compromise — even if it was rejected by Republicans in Congress — that enhance his stature.
What’s the best case Barack Obama can make for re-election? Let’s start with the stunning record of accomplishments he has compiled over the last four years
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The country is safer. Its economy and its largest industry have been restored to health. And healthcare reform, fought out over 50 years in the U.S. Congress, has at last begun in earnest. When Republicans say pejoratively that Obama “can’t run on his record,” they’re peddling partisan nonsense and indulging a myopic fiction.
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Obama’s first term proved he can deliver at home under the worst imaginable circumstances, battling multiple crises that individually would have sunk lesser presidents; abroad, Obama has restored American credibility and influence that was frittered away by former President George W. Bush. With a refocus on job creation and long-term sustainability, his second four years could impress even more.
During his administration, President Obama has provided pragmatic, steady, centrist leadership that has served the nation well. He has dealt effectively with economic recession at home and turmoil abroad, much of which he inherited from his predecessor. The stimulus he promoted — along with the auto and bank bailouts — helped prevent the recession from becoming a depression.
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Jobless rates are still too high. But imagine what the economies of Ohio and Michigan would look like today if Mr. Obama had not presided over the federal rescue of Chrysler and General Motors as they emerged from bankruptcy in 2009.
That rescue was vital to Ohio, which depends on the auto industry for 850,000 jobs — one of every eight. It has preserved and created assembly and parts production jobs in Toledo and across the state.
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President Obama’s health-care reform is poised to insure tens of millions of Americans who now lack medical coverage, while reducing the federal deficit. The financial reforms he guided into law are curbing the abuses on Wall Street that contributed greatly to the national and global economic meltdown.
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In foreign affairs, the President has ended one war begun by his predecessor in Iraq, and is overseeing an orderly troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. He ordered the attack that killed Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the 2001 terror attacks on this country.
Mr. Obama assembled the international coalition that helped free Libya from four decades of Moammar Gadhafi’s tyranny, without putting U.S. troops in harm’s way. The tough economic sanctions Mr. Obama and U.S. allies have imposed on Iran offer the prospect of forcing that country to give up its development of nuclear weapons.
Barack Obama deserves a second term as president. Mitt Romney does not come close to measuring up to him as an honest, forthright and compassionate leader.
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The cool professor is a bit too dispassionate in these contentious times. He would be in a far better position for re-election if he had shown more fight. But better cool than reckless. Better understated compassion than overt disregard for 47 percent of Americans. And better to push breakthroughs in green technology and the novel concept of diplomacy to defuse world hot spots than to pretend that repeating the word “terrorism” over and over will eliminate it.
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Obama has faced a level of personal animus unseen toward a president in living memory. It has come mainly from the right, but liberals have been little help. The fact is, Obama’s actions and positions paint him as — gasp — a classic moderate. This once was a good thing in a president. It should be again.
Look at who these men are, what they stand for and who stands with them. Barack Obama is the leader for these times. If he wins a second term, then maybe, just maybe, Republicans will return to putting country before party and recall the value of compromise. That is and always has been how America moves forward.
Barack Obama has a record as president, and though he has not led us to his post-partisan promised land, he has provided steady, principled leadership during an economic crisis.
Obama’s approach — tax cuts for working people and businesses combined with stimulus spending — pulled us back from a depression. If you doubt it, look at Europe which chose austerity over stimulus and keeps sliding back into recession, while the U.S. economy slowly digs out of a very deep hole.
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Despite Republicans’ determination to deny him any victories, Obama has a list of accomplishments that speak well for his priorities: Consumers have new protections against rip-offs by credit card and mortgage companies. The student loan program is freeing up $62 billion over 10 years by cutting out banks as subsidized middlemen.. . . .As for protecting America from external threats, Obama has been smart and strong, as evidenced by Romney’s embrace of Obama’s foreign policy in their last debate. That might have been just for public consumption, though; Romney has surrounded himself with belligerent neoconservative advisors who led the previous president disastrously astray.
Taking office as the economy was cratering, facing two wars and other crises abroad, and being fought at every turn by determined congressional Republicans has tested President Barack Obama.
The president has passed those tests, though not without leaving skin on the sidewalk. He can look back at a solid, if not remarkable, record of accomplishment that earns this Democrat our endorsement for a second term over Republican Mitt Romney.
No, Mr. Obama didn’t change the culture of Washington, if “culture” is the right word. He made some mistakes, disappointed many. But as Paul Glastris observed in Washington Monthly earlier this year, Mr. Obama looks good when compared to other presidents.
The economy is slowly recovering from the 2008 meltdown, and the country could suffer another recession if the wrong policies take hold. The United States is embroiled in unstable regions that could easily explode into full-blown disaster. An ideological assault from the right has started to undermine the vital health reform law passed in 2010. Those forces are eroding women’s access to health care, and their right to control their lives. Nearly 50 years after passage of the Civil Rights Act, all Americans’ rights are cheapened by the right wing’s determination to deny marriage benefits to a selected group of us. Astonishingly, even the very right to vote is being challenged.
That is the context for the Nov. 6 election, and as stark as it is, the choice is just as clear.
President Obama has shown a firm commitment to using government to help foster growth. He has formed sensible budget policies that are not dedicated to protecting the powerful, and has worked to save the social safety net to protect the powerless. Mr. Obama has impressive achievements despite the implacable wall of refusal erected by Congressional Republicans so intent on stopping him that they risked pushing the nation into depression, held its credit rating hostage, and hobbled economic recovery.
Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, has gotten this far with a guile that allows him to say whatever he thinks an audience wants to hear. But he has tied himself to the ultraconservative forces that control the Republican Party and embraced their policies, including reckless budget cuts and 30-year-old, discredited trickle-down ideas. Voters may still be confused about Mr. Romney’s true identity, but they know the Republican Party, and a Romney administration would reflect its agenda. Mr. Romney’s choice of Representative Paul Ryan as his running mate says volumes about that.